Jan 21, 2015 by

As the field of energy-efficient technology grows exponentially year after year, there is no shortage of inspiration of programs to adopt in your company or hometown. The following three eco-savvy cities are clear examples that if you implement smart technology, people will use it.

San Francisco

Long-hailed as a mecca for the environmental movement as well as the home base of some of the biggest technology companies in the world, it’s no wonder that San Francisco tops the list of U.S. cities using technology to minimize its carbon footprint. The city is so committed to reaching its goal of creating zero waste by 2020, that they created a smartphone app, Recology, which provides recycling and trash collection schedules. The city also has a website, WhatBin.com, which helps San Franciscans learn what items are recyclable and compostable since the city has a law that makes sorting compostable goods mandatory.

To help streamline parking and minimize traffic, the city’s transportation agency developed a free app, SFpark, which helps find nearby parking availability and pricing. The agency also has an app called 511 Transit to help make public transportation more accessible with trip planning in an effort to cut down vehicle emissions. Both these apps are easily accessible on the latest smartphones.

New York City

The City That Never Sleeps may be better known to some for its dense population and non-stop hustle. However, residents also are seeing the effects of smart technology on the city’s infrastructure, which is helping to propel sustainability in New York City. For instance, a city-wide Wi-Fi network has an interactive interface, which helps the local government communicate with citizens more efficiently.

While yellow cabs and traffic are synonymous with New York, the city is committed to providing residents and visitors with a more efficient form of transportation. This is why the Citi Bike bike sharing system makes a perfect companion to one of the most efficient subway systems in the world. Thousands of bikes are available for use 24/7 with hundreds of stations set up around the city so you can get where you need to go without having to worry about parking or bike theft. Not only does this mode of transportation reduce fuel usage, but it also helps riders get in their daily exercise.


With the headquarters of technology giants Microsoft and Amazon, it’s no surprise that city dwellers here value the development of high-tech solutions for environmental issues. City officials value green business practices too, which is why they offer tax breaks for businesses that implement environmentally responsible technology. Residents can get in on the action with affordable, city-sponsored services for insulation installation and weatherization for older homes.

To help make real estate development a little more green, Microsoft has teamed up with the City of Seattle to launch the High-Performance Buildings Pilot Project, which uses cloud services and software to track the energy usage and carbon emissions from the construction process. With this information, they can finetune the work being done in real time in order to minimize the environmental impact and waste.

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