Editor’s Note: This article is one submission in a live Masdar blogging contest (find out the entry requirements here). Very simply, the focus of the contest submissions is to: “Describe your city in 2030: what will occur due to changes in energy, transportation and water technologies, and how will they transform how you live?” We are sharing this submission here on CleanTechnica because we think it’s awesome and because Masdar is sponsoring CleanTechnica in order to raise awareness about this great competition. I have personally engaged in the contest in previous years, and I hope one of our readers wins this year since it would be great to meet you in Abu Dhabi!
A young man awakes in the small town of Ventura, California, USA, on a day much like any other. His feet hit the floor of his room, comforted by the geothermally temperature-regulated flooring. Combined with the retrofitted passive solar design of the south-facing walls of his house, which allows the mellow winter sun to warm the concrete floor, there isn’t much need for the small electric combined AC/heat pump installed in the attic.
Looking out the window at the city, he gently taps the window, pulling up his calendar for the day ahead, remembering with a smile that his Triple Paned Smart Windows not only act as computer displays but also as power generators via integrated transparent solar cells. Caught up on current events, he leaves.
His Smart Home notices this via integrated low-power Bluetooth antennas in each room and transitions the home into Away mode – locking doors, turning off unnecessary lights, moderating the thermostat, and idling appliances to bring the total energy usage down to nearly zero.
LEED certification of all new and retrofitted residential housing was mandated in the Energy Reform Act of 2015, which requires residential facilities to be much more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Combined with the city’s LEED Retrofit incentive program, drastic improvements in power usage for both thermal management have been realized, enabled by an influx of smart home integrated electronics.
While he typically telecommutes 3 days per week, going in to the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays is a great way to get out, stay active, and run errands. The arrival of the networked Self Driving Personal Electric Transport ride-sharing service has transformed commuting in the area, singlehandedly responsible for a 30% reduction in traffic collisions. Its electric fleet is eliminating emissions and increasing passenger productivity by allowing passengers to eat, read, or recreate at their leisure. As the young man walks up to the curb, the PET glides up silently, having timed its arrival at his residence based on real-time signal feeds from his smartphone.
At lunch, he walks around the corner to one of many bike-sharing locations in the city. Detecting his arrival, the system welcomes him by name and, after a verbal confirmation, he speeds off towards his lunch destination on a bike.
After ordering his favorite locally sourced, hydroponically grown fare, the young man checks his Personal Carbon Score which tracks his carbon footprint across the many facets of his life – from online orders to travel… meals to shopping choices – and compares it to his friends. While on his mobile, his home solar system sends a message that it has hit a new peak production record, a testament to the new 35% efficient roof-tile solar modules that he recently had installed.
He finds a seat in the shade of one of the many solar canopies that power the restaurant. These small multipurpose installations have become commonplace over the last few years, generating electricity and collecting rainwater at business around town.
Arriving home, he stops in his front yard garden to collect produce for dinner – strawberries, lettuce, and micro greens comprise his salad and make use of the land. His home’s integrated rainwater and grey water collection combined with a filtration system maximizes the utility of the local water supply. Any land not used for growing produce has been converted to an ocean-friendly garden – largely made up of local plants and succulents — none of which require watering.
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