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Today is World Cities Day, as designated by the United Nations, and it’s a day to promote awareness to the challenges cities face and bring to light solutions that can make cities better to live in. This year, the theme is Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities. Cities need support to become resilient and develop their capacity to absorb the impact of hazards, protect and preserve human life and limit damage to and destruction of public and private assets while continuing to provide infrastructure and services after a crisis.

We are committed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and so are our innovators, so we wanted to highlight some promising startups working with solutions to make our cities a success. Check it out.


Physee develops PowerWindows, completely transparent windows that are able to generate energy. The team has applied a coating to the outside of the windowpane that collects the light rays rather than reflecting them, with the solar cell strips within the window itself then converting it into electricity. Typically, commercial buildings account for most carbon emissions in urban areas, PowerWindows are able to supply half of the energy of a renovated building and 100% for a new building. This is a perfect solution that leads to a more sustainable and smart city.


This is a smart solution to waste management. Using sensors and management software, the company connects monitoring systems to bins, tips, and other waste disposal areas. Sensoneo provides both cities and businesses with analytics that can be used for data-driven decision making in the optimization of waste collection routes, pick-up frequencies, and vehicle loads. They claim to reduce waste collection costs by at least 30% and lower carbon emissions in cities up to 60%.

Orbital Systems

Orbital Systems has developed the first digital recirculating shower system and already saved 12,630,153 liters of water. They strive to close the gap between those who regularly use water and the 2 billion people that have scarce access to fresh water. They have manufactured a “close-loop shower” which saves 90% of the water we typically waste using their OAS filter pod. The water is purified using their purification technologies and the clean water is recirculated back to the showerhead, this saves not only water, but also energy. Their design is so innovative they even won and award for it.


FloodCom organizes various workshops and trainings, where “worst-case” scenarios can be practiced by emergency managers with the help of serious gaming. Their customised workshops and games can address a variety of issues.

The Flood Control game enables organizations involved in emergency management to practice making decisions in stressful situations based on incomplete or uncertain information. During the game, a scenario unfolds to which players must respond. By working together and by making the right choices, players can minimize the negative effects of the unfolding disaster.