October 6 2015 at 10:25pm
By Lisa Isaacs
CAPE Town is one of the world’s leading “smart cities”.
This emerged at the SA International Renewable Energy Conference yesterday.
Commenting on his experience of working with the City, Steven Bland, from Local Governments for Sustainability, the world’s leading network of more than 1 000 cities, towns and metropolises committed to building a sustainable future, said it is one of its “leading members” globally.
SA National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) chief executive Kadri Nassiep said an energy smart city was defined by three factors.
“A smart city… depends on smart legislation – national, provincial, local – needs smart consumers, informed consumers. People who are aware of their energy footprint and informed enough to make a difference when it comes to that footprint.
“Lastly, we need enabling infrastructure. You have to look at adequate electricity, water supply, sanitation, efficient public transport, IT connectivity, safety and security, good governance, education and affordable housing,” Nassiep said.
Bland said the City had also been acknowledged by the WWF after winning its Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) title of Global Earth Hour Capital in 2014. The award recognised the City for its ambition and pioneering actions to combat climate change in its effort to bolster the quality of life for its citizens. The previous year’s winner was Vancouver, Canada.
“What the City of Cape Town has going for it is that it has a very committed energy and climate change team working hard… to try and drive change, and they’re working with the Transport Department and other departments to try and integrate this topic of energy efficiency and renewable energy into the services that they deliver. So from that perspective, they are putting in a lot of effort.”
He noted that the City’s solar water heater accreditation programme – an attempt to promote solar water heaters and encourage local businesses to offer solar water heaters and to give them an accredited stamp to build trust in that industry – was an interesting way that the municipality tried to help its citizens to navigate the renewable energy space.”
He asserted that smart cities are not only for the rich, but for everybody.