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Pittsburgh calculates environmental and economic impact of its infrastructure

The US city is using the Siemens City Performance Tool to identify a technology roadmap to help it reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.

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Pittsburgh has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 75 per cent by 2030
Pittsburgh has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 75 per cent by 2030

The city of Pittsburgh has released the findings from a data-driven virtual planning tool that aims to help cities calculate the environmental and economic impacts of infrastructure technologies.

 

The Siemens City Performance Tool (CyPT) was used to identify a technology roadmap to help the city reach its target of reducing carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.

 

Link between climate, innovation and jobs

 

CyPT analysis sets out to illustrate the benefits of linking climate, innovation and jobs to the leaders and citizens of Pittsburgh.

 

Specifically, the report found that Pittsburgh has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 75 per cent by 2030, exceeding its current 50 per cent goal. According to Siemens, this would not only improve air quality by would also create 110,000 full-time positions through the implementations of these new energy changes.

 

The report notes that of the more than 70 technologies within the Siemens tool, the technologies that would best enable carbon reductions, improve air quality and create more jobs in Pittsburgh include: solar electricity generation; district heating systems using best available technologies; electric buses and car sharing initiatives; and non-residential building automation systems.

“We’ve been learning and applying these lessons along the way, but the City Performance Tool shows that we can create jobs, clean our air and reduce carbon emissions"

The technology with the most overall impact on carbon emissions and air quality was onshore wind electricity generation, which could be delivered through a state or county-led power purchase agreement.

 

“Siemens, with support from our partners at the University of Pittsburgh Centre for Energy, have helped to provide a critical technology roadmap for energy and resilience activities here in the city of Pittsburgh,” said William Peduto, mayor.

 

“We’ve been learning and applying these lessons along the way, but the City Performance Tool shows that we can create jobs, clean our air and reduce carbon emissions. By investing in local renewable energy, district heating systems, accelerating energy efficiency efforts in our buildings and investing in smart technologies we can really connect the economic and social benefits of climate action.”

 

Transport technologies

 

The analysis also found that transport technologies, including an intelligent traffic management system, proved to be the most cost-effective way to improve the flow of traffic and thereby lessen fuel use and improve air quality as it is spread across the city.

 

Electric taxis proved to be cost efficient as did energy-related technologies that improved grid efficiency or reduced direct losses. Still, transport reductions showed the need for immediate and urgent attention.

 

Pittsburgh began its work with the Siemens CyPT in 2017 as part of its partnership on energy and decarbonisation with the University of Pittsburgh.

“The city of Pittsburgh is showing tremendous leadership in bringing a range of stakeholders together in its effort to become a future-ready and energy-efficient city,” added Martin Powell, head of urban development, Siemens.

 

“Our tool’s findings prove that [its] ambitious goals are indeed achievable with the right technologies and by continuing their approach toward intelligent infrastructure.”

 

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