Informed Infrastructure Q&A with Smart Cities Guru

Informed Infrastructure, a top industry news source for construction engineers, interviewed the Smart Cities Guru to hear his take on smart solutions for smarter infrastructure. The future of infrastructure, Ahuja says, lies in the integration of nature and technology. Ahuja explains that it’s possible to achieve suburban living in an urban setting with vertical farming, hydroponics and green roofs – not just concrete structures. Ahuja stressed that the only infinite resource humans have is sunshine, sharing an innovative experiment involving the implementation of a solar-tracking system on a sunflower to better understand the tracking of the sun in ways that technology cannot.

So what lessons can builders and designers learn today?

Ahuja urges the industry and its leaders to efficiently maximize natural resources available within a 50-mile radius instead of mining the planet, effectively making it sicker. Furthermore, Ahuja articulates the importance of city departments working together, rather than in siloes, in order to accomplish positive and substantial change in cities.

Informed Infrastructure then asked what advice Ahuja has for young civil engineers. “I would tell them to focus on green infrastructure vs. hard-surface infrastructure,” encouraged Ahuja. “Use bioswales for stormwater management; stream creation for some urban environments; adaptation in a different way, so we don’t build large-scale water-pumping stations and collections.”

Learning from and working with Mother Nature, not against, will yield future-forward design, maximize efficiency and decrease the damage done to the planet.

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