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The Green City That Has a Brain

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map of PlanIT Valley

The central computer of PlanIT Valley will act like a brain, regulating water use and energy consumption.

Credit: New Scientist

The planned city of PlanIT Valley, on the outskirts of Paredes in northern Portugal, is aiming to be an environmentally sustainable city. And, just like an organism, it will have a brain: a central computer that regulates everything from its water use to energy consumption.

Various eco-cities are in the pipeline, but this could be the first to be fully built—by 2015—and could open its doors as early as next year. Like other sustainable cities, PlanIT Valley will treat its own water and tap renewable energy.

PlanIT Valley will be built close to existing transport links. More significantly, its "brain" will use data collected from a network of sensors akin to a nervous system to control the city's power generation, water and waste treatment. It's a kind of "urban metabolism," says Steven Lewis, chief executive of Living PlanIT. The cost of installing the sensor network will be offset by using more efficient building techniques.

From New Scientist
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