Cities never sleep. On a simple stroll down the sidewalk, your senses are inundated — sirens, car horns, people talking, children playing, buildings humming. Yet for all we can hear and see in cities, some of the biggest urban challenges — traffic congestion, resource use and carbon emissions — stem from an inability to see and coordinate these moving pieces.
“The things we can do with today’s technology, our ability to connect everything… it’s amazing. All of the smart city technology combined can help citizens and city officials make better decisions. Every small step adds up to make a big impact in our world." — Chandana Vangapalli, Former EDF Climate Corps Fellow
This is where we can use technology in revolutionary ways. AT&T is teaming up with companies to deploy innovative solutions throughout cities, making them “smarter.” We’re also developing connected solutions to help cities improve the way they use resources and take care of their citizens. But what if we could use the efficiencies created by this technological revolution to understand a city’s environmental impact — and improve it?
Last summer we teamed up with the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Corps program to host one of their research fellows who helped us calculate the potential environmental savings of technology in “smart” cities. Chandana Vangapalli, an MBA student from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, worked closely with AT&T’s Smart Cities team to help build a new measurement framework.
The work we started with Chandana through the EDF program is helping us reach our “10x” goal. By 2025, we seek to enable carbon emissions reductions for our customers that are 10x the amount produced by AT&T’s operations. This goal includes reducing our own emissions while helping our customers leverage our technology to do the same. We are collaborating with experts from Carbon Trust and BSR to expand upon Chandana’s research and develop a consistent and repeatable methodology so we can get the full picture of how technology benefits the environment.
With the increased visibility that smart technology provides, we can help cities address widespread challenges so they can become cleaner, safer and stronger.