Technology, Infrastructure and Sustainability

Technology can be associated with human progression as the innovative inventions such as hospital equipment, transportation and farming innovations are able to provide for a better standard of living. We have mastered the ability to obtain resources through technological advances and now we begin to look for technology to maximise the efficiencies that surround it. This may be due to the depletion of certain resources such as fossil fuels, or perhaps others are more concerned about the effect this is having on the resources trough acceleration of the world process of climatic change.

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One major drawback of this type of progression is the cost of total redesign, and the financial effects this has on major global corporations. When considering an invention with resources in mind then any electrical appliance should be designed to fit renewable energy requirements. This means that in a country where electricity is not yet sustainably sourced then an electric car would not be a feasible option.  Another example of such design consideration is for the situation of many undeveloped societies were people are more likely to have a mobile phone device rather than clean water. This is due to the high electricity consumption of a home reverse osmosis system which cannot be met using a small and affordable solar panel system since no grid electricity is available or affordable. This is due to most of these people being self-reliant which means they do not spend their time earning money, but rather gathering resources. This means that this type of technology is not yet available.

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This is particularly important when thinking about design of functional things that relate to food, water and shelter. While it is easy to just simplify design to be more efficient, in certain cases the complexity is a requirement. This is apparent in places such as major cities were mass populations live. This is important as this concentrates people into small areas of the planet allowing for natural resources to thrive and biodiversity to sustain the planet and the phenomenon of life and living beings.

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Let’s take Malta as a very small example. Locally we have recently seen an increase in inbound immigration and we have welcomed this by reacting and building infrastructure to house and accommodate for this. We have also seen the need for an increased energy requirement to facilitate this, however, what we have been lacking is just how we achieve this. On a short term we can simply outsource this thanks to obsolete transportation which allows us to import goods which includes energy.

Alternatively, as a country we could simply mitigate this by sourcing the energy we have available. So since space is limited here and we seem to be building lots of buildings then the answer must be in building in a controlled manner with certain technology favouring such ethos. Currently, such types of development is being made by incentivizing solar energy however making this a requirement for all new buildings could further improve the efforts.

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Furthermore, a need for innovation is also interesting. This is evident in other countries such as the Dutch wind wheel,1 Angel square and Bank of America tower. These are just a few to mention. There are also millions of houses that are real examples of buildings which harness technology to be more sustainable. However, let’s not marvel too much, and simply ask ourselves what we can do around our homes to become more efficient.

Conserving and collecting water would be the best place to start today 

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