Sustainable Development

What is Sustainable Development?

Sustainable development refers to meeting the demands of current generations without putting the demands of future generations at stake. This can be achieved by maintaining the ecological balance and exhibiting concern and care for other living beings.

sustainable development

The term sustainability was first used in 1987 in Brundtland report.

Human life has direct relationship and dependence upon the natural environment they sleep in. Industrial development, which most will comply with to a greater extent, contributes towards degrading and worsening the natural environment. Sustainable development (SD) has emerged in the new millennium because of the major challenge for international development to the alarming call of natural, social, and economic environment. Global environmental threats of this kind have stood up due to industrial development patterns, resource degradation and depletion, widening economic gaps between and within industrial and developing countries, and resource-driven conflicts. 

Global challenges including water scarcity, global warming, pollution, inequality and poverty are to be addressed under sustainable development goals which are a commitment towards social and environmental progress. These measures are aimed at retaining ecological balance and for ensuring economic progress thus creating a win-win situation for all.

Sustainable development and Information Technology

The development of information and communications technologies, and the emergence of information society with new economic models, has the potential for making major contributions towards sustainability of the earth’s ecosystems. Innovative use of information technology offers substitutes for travel and for the transportation of goods, and a major shift towards less resource intensive production, consumption, trade, and services. The reforms can reduce the environmental impact of industrial and commercial activities to a significant level thus ensuring sustainable development. The current informative society has been established on the pillars of technology, knowledge and intelligence. Information Technology (IT) is strengthening both humans and machines with information, which is transformed into knowledge and intelligence. Germane utilization of the knowledge bestows generously to sustainable development. While an individual of today being well aware knows his role as a citizen in an environmentally sustainable society, empowered machines have been programmed to minimize energy and material use, wastes, and pollutants. Information technology nurtures efficient, pocket friendly, equitable, and resource- friendly access to information, accumulated knowledge, learning opportunities, and co-operation support tools for its citizens. The Internet, today’s cyberspace, facilitates people from across the globe to co-operate and perform various activities of human life and endeavor. The electronic information processing, storing and communicating, without any space and time constraints, enabled people with instant information along desired lines. Knowledge and intelligence have become commodities of the modern age. Information being readily accessible to people every time and anywhere is playing a role in structuring our societal setup Miniaturization and innovative advancements have created artificial intelligence  empowering them to coordinate among each other and enhance productivity. Information Technology is offering dormant potential for making a positive contribution towards sustainability of our economy and environment, particularly by reducing the impacts arising from manufacturing and transportation activities. 

The Knowledge Gap: 

Watching our society as an entire, there are noticeable inequalities or “gaps” within the distribution of data and knowledge technology. For various reasons, some people appear
poised to garner greater benefits from technological advances than others. On a worldwide level, it refers to the inequitable global distribution of technology and knowledge. As information technology becomes increasingly indispensable for the event of society, the third world countries, especially, can least afford to squander the vast opportunities presented by the continued information revolution. 

 The ideal situation for sustainable development would be if anybody could speak to anybody using such a language that he/she are often bound to be understood, and take decisions knowing exactly which might be the consequences of this decision on this and future environment or societies. Increased communication capacity has raised the potential of humanity’s sustainable development. Information technology furnishes powerful tools – and no solution – for sustainable development. As per above information, it supposed that it’s not just a matter of identifying what fairly information and knowledge is required, in fact the important feature is to know the pros and cons related to the selections . This may enable us to watch out for the problems and challenges ahead, and would enable us to organize accordingly.

Smart and Sustainable cities policy:

There is a series of policy recommendations for Smart Sustainable Cities

  • There are not any off-the-shelf solutions for Smart Sustainable Cities. Every solution must to be adapted to and validated within the local context, and any strategy for implementing the Smart Sustainable City vision must be formulated and owned by the most city stakeholders. The technological developments are not only the focus, but also highlight improvements within the economic, social, cultural, ecological, and governance dimensions. Leveraging social and cultural changes introduced by the Smart Sustainable City transformation is a chance to instil civic values within society.
  • As cities have different levels of maturity for various dimensions, the strategy should include having stakeholders agree on priority areas. Strategies should even be informed by the “urban metabolism”, i.e. how the town produces, transforms and consumes materials, energy, capital and other resources. Transformation should progress within and across these dimensions, and while progress is formed in one dimension, it shouldn’t deteriorate in another. 
  • Smart Sustainable Cities require a two way approach: top-down i.e. government-led to create foundations, and bottom-up i.e. community-driven to conduct local sector-specific initiatives, like delivering innovative services by local Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) supported open data.
  •  Government’s responsibility is to market and stimulate bottom-up innovation. Initiatives taken could include living labs for, exploration, experimentation and evaluation of innovative ideas, scenarios and ideas, and moreover testing technological instruments and artifacts in various real world usage scenarios. 
  • It should include   government’s initiatives to ensure access to data, for extending participation and leveraging innovation through public service co-creation. They ought to believe open, centralized and collaborative approaches to public and non-public service delivery
  • Moving one step ahead regarding the sustainability in Smart Cities, knowledge sharing platforms should be made available  to market best practices associated with good governance, transportation, water supply and  sewage, electricity, environment, urban planning, quality of life, citizen participation, digital infrastructure, and contextualization.

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