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Table 4 The key environmental and some economic benefits of the eco-city

From: A novel model for data-driven smart sustainable cities of the future: the institutional transformations required for balancing and advancing the three goals of sustainability

Green infrastructure

• Providing ecosystem services:

 Air quality


 Climate mitigation and adaptation

 Flood risk mitigation by slowing and reducing stormwater discharges

 Temperature regulation

 Passive irrigation

 Biodiversity and habitat

 Stormwater management

• Managing water by mimicking the natural water cycle

• Improving the quality of water by protecting local waterways from stormwater pollutants

• Replacing or complementing technical systems

• Making urban areas more pleasant by improving their design aesthetics

• Improving economic attractiveness through greening, e.g., high land values which create a willingness to invest and develop urban areas

• Enhancing community safety and the quality of life

• Removing harmful substances from the air and thus increasing its quality

• Reducing stress as linked to mental and physical well-being and the development of illness.

• Providing favorable conditions for healthier life

• Reducing traffic noise and providing cooler temperatures and greater diversity

Sustainable energy systems

• Maximizing energy efficiency

• Conserving energy by combining heat and power provisions

• Reducing CO2 emissions due to the use of renewable energy sources:

 Wind, solar, and hydropower produce little or no air pollution

 Biomass and geothermal do emit air pollutants, but at much lower rates than most fossil fuels

• Enabling districts to become fossil fuel–free, zero-carbon, and climate positive

• Reducing energy costs and ecological impact to the lowest possible level

• Diversifying energy supply and reducing dependence on imported fuels

• Clean and cheap to run

• Mitigating large-scale failure due to a distributed, modular fashion deployment

• Distributing electricity with less complex and time-consuming infrastructural development thanks to the quick rollout of technologies in response to the needs of the city during critical events or complex emergencies

Sustainable waste management system

• Decreasing the landfilling of household waste and other waste

• Rising the recovery of material for reuse and recycling, as well as of energy in the form of heat and electricity

• Generating biogas fuels from food sludge and other organic waste as well as from wastewater and sewage

• Converting food waste into bio–fertilizer that can replace artificial fertilizers

• Mitigating Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions from waste incineration, irrespective of the quantity of the incinerated waste

• Reducing he environmental impact of waste management: GHG emissions and emissions of hazardous substances (e.g., organic pollutants, heavy metals)

• Reducing the noise and congestion caused by garbage collection trucks thanks to the bins connected directly to the underground repositories, where waste is sucked out by vacuum chutes via underground pipes

Sustainable materials

• Increasing productivity

• Improving health and quality of life

• Decreasing waste generation

• Using materials in more effective ways

• Reducing air pollution

• Avoiding noise pollution

Green technology development

• Spurring green-tech innovations

• Increasing green-tech manufacturing and export

• Stimulating R&D projects and opportunities

• Inspiring entrepreneurship and creating startups

• Increasing industrial and technological investments

• Providing a significant number of jobs and opportunities for skill development

• Stimulating cooperation between government, industry, and academia

• Providing opportunities for international collaboration among urban actors