Skip to content

smart cities : green cities :

  • by JW

We need to connect, we need to use hi-tech;

but not every piece of development has to look like Gotham city.


How should we incorporate hi-tech into our lives and the lives of our towns?

One of the questions on the VGS questionnaire about life in lockdown in Sidmouth has been how we’ve been coping with broadband and technology to connect us for work or pleasure:

Covid-19 in Sidmouth: What’s your experience?


It is clear that more Working From Home once lockdown is eased will mean a greater reliance on virtual communication – here in East Devon too, although apparently the Japanese are managing this badly, as they are not as hi-tech as imagined:

As governments dither, authority is challenged


But planning for a life with technology will have to be done.

Here’s what’s being planned for in Mexico with some interesting ideas perhaps even for Devon – but on a massive scale and perhaps a little… dystopian:



Innovative cities: Smart Forest city planned for Mexico’s Cancun – TomoNews |


It’s captivated much of the professional and mainstream press – with this piece from earlier in the month:


Italian architect Stefano Boeri has designed a green ‘smart forest city’ for Mexico’s resort destination of Cancun. In addition to being planted with millions of trees and shrubs to help reduce its carbon footprint, it will also be a hub for climate change innovation… 

“Urban forestry” is the signature of Italian architect and urban planner Stefano Boeri. His firm, Stefano Boeri Architetti (SBA)is known for creating city-centre “vertical forests” – high-rise towers with staggered balconies overhanging with vegetation – in metropolises such as Milan, Shanghai, Cairo and Chicago.


Stefano Boeri unveils Smart Forest City covered in 7.5 million plants for Mexico |

Outdoor offices, millions of plants and super canals: First look at plans for Smart Forest City Cancun |

New Smart City in Cancun Will Include Over 7 Million Plants |

‘Smart Forest City’ that’s food and energy self-sufficient could soon be built in Mexico | |


Meanwhile, not every smart green city has been successful:

Masdar’s zero-carbon dream could become world’s first green ghost town |

And not every piece of sustainable development has to be quite so imposing:

Neom is Saudi’s mega-green Gotham city |


Here in the Sid Valley, we have less imposing but equally impressive hi-tech.

In fact, the Sidmouth Arboretum has its own smart platform for accessing the trees of the Sid Valley:

Sid Valley i-Tree Eco Survey – Treeconomics


And we have a smart-hub for connecting entrepreneurs:

Lighthouse Sidmouth business hub to shine a light on entrepreneurial community |

Finally, in these difficult times, “technology has enabled the 1st Sid Vale Scout Group to celebrate St George’s Day despite the coronavirus lockdown”:

Sid Vale scouts meet online for St George’s Day celebration |