Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Explain your idea in details:
The effects of atmospheric pollution on the worsening of climate change cannot be understated; cities account for 70% of global CO2 emissions. This will cost global economies $1.6 trillion USD by 2030. While efforts such as carbon capture programs attempt to resolve this issue, achieving >56% efficiency is seldom heard of because very little is known about where to deploy these solutions. For example, the Tomakomai carbon capture program in Japan wasted an estimated $168 million USD from the budgeted $300 million USD. To address this inefficiency, the Metropolis canopy offers a revolutionary system that comprises of a series of no-maintenance, solar-powered data collection towers installed on 21 m tall buildings in areas with population concentration > 300 people/mile^2. Enhanced by AI-powered meteorological models, an open-source database of the atmospheric signature of common urban entities, high-accuracy pollutant sensors (ozone, humidity/temperature, gas, and particulate matter detector), each tower can identify the actual sources, magnitude, and cost that subject presents to the economy. These towers would be capable of identifying the location of a heavy polluter with >90% accuracy in a radius of 5 km ^2. Heavy polluters include buildings with outdated heating/cooling systems, cars with hazardous exhaust and more. With this knowledge, city planners and legislators will know where to enact pollution counter-measures to achieve 100% efficiency, save money and the environment.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
As previously mentioned, the goal of this project is to identify the urban sources of pollution. To understand the immense benefit this project brings to the fight against atmospheric pollution and climate change, should Toronto install 3 Canopy Towers (costing $18 000 USD and which collectively cover all of downtown Toronto), 30 megatonnes of CO2 would be reduced, 1 000 lives and $1.6 billion USD saved each year. These estimates are derived from the minimum 65% guaranteed amplification of existing solutionsis. Aside from the financial incentive, the urgency of developing a solution to boost efficiency is of paramount importance. Continuing to invest in new direct solutions is not sustainable - especially given that the public sentiment towards this cost is unfavorable. The best alternative would be to develop a project that is low-cost, achieves results, and that works in tandem with existing products. It is no secret that our atmosphere is important: it allows us to breathe, protects us from harmful cosmic radiation, and regulates our planets temperature. Unfortunately, not many people understand how much damage we have caused to the atmosphere, as well as how much it would cost to fix - given existing methods. A tear in the ozone layer of the South Pole and Australia have let in harmful radiation to seep into the atmosphere. To fix this problem companies are looking at a variety of solutions including ozone reconstruction. It is estimated that the cost to solve this superficial problem would exceed $5 billion USD. Given current trends, more costs like this will manifest, eventually leading to an unpayable debt. Despite its size, almost every type of pollution indirectly affects the atmosphere, and as mentioned above - the atmosphere is vital and nearing a catastrophic collapse.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
In order to maximize the usability and implementation of the Metropolis Canopy, it is important to understand how current businesses and governments operate when considering an investment into a solution that does not immediately have an economic benefit. Fortunately, because these towers are capable of achieving such tremendous precision when identifying polluters, while keeping costs extremely low and providing such an amazing return on investment, it is certain that governments will want to fund this project. The business model of the Metropolis Canopy is one of protecting financial assets that would otherwise have been lost to a futile attempt at addressing climate change. Including the cost of research and development, the total cost of creating the supply chain necessary for this project is less than $500 000 USD.
My name is Matei Gardea and I am a 16 year old from Toronto Canada. I am really interested in moonshot projects that aim to solve the most important problems we face today (climate change, general AI, or gene editing). If I'm not reading about interesting new technologies, you'll likely find me building projects addressing these problems, with a hands-on approach. Some of my achievements include having won the Toronto Science Fair, organizing the Toronto Girls in Tech conference, and researching the application of AI in medicine.