If you would like to learn more about photonic metaconcrete and other exciting technologies for smart cities of the future, we recommend listening to the podcast ‘Science to the Point‘ from the Public University of Navarra, which features an in-depth discussion with experts Miguel and Francisco.

Miguel, a professor at the Public University of Navarra and researcher in MIRACLE, talks about our exciting European project called MIRACLE that is developing “intelligent concrete” for smart cities of the future.

The goal is to create concrete that can automatically cool itself down, without any energy consumption. This would help fight climate change and reduce the extensive use of air conditioning in cities.

The physics behind it is simple – all objects at ambient temperature emit radiation. The Miracle concrete is designed to emit infrared radiation at wavelengths that can easily escape into outer space, which is extremely cold. At the same time, it would block inward radiation from the hot atmosphere and the Sun.If successful, this self-cooling concrete could drastically reduce the energy consumption associated with cooling buildings, which accounts for the majority of energy use in cities currently.

Along with other energy efficiency measures, it can help in constructing near zero-energy buildings to mitigate climate change.Other research areas for smart cities include renewable energy generation and storage, energy-efficient transport, optimized urban planning, waste management, water distribution, air quality monitoring, and integrating all these systems through information and communications technology to improve efficiency.

There are still challenges around data privacy, energy storage, system integration, etc. But pilot projects are already underway and the EU aims to have 100 smart city pilots by 2030, so the future is not far away.While new technologies can cause apprehension, improving quality of life and sustainability through innovation is key. Smart cities, with photonic metaconcrete and other clever solutions, can help create that better future.