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The Impact of Smart Cities on Reducing Energy Poverty in the U.S.

Authors: Alyssa Horwitz*,
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, United States
Keywords: Smart City, Energy, Poverty, Geography, United States, Technology
Session Type: Guided Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

For my research project, I am focusing on the positive economic and social benefits that Smart Cities create through analyzing the effect that smart technology projects have had on reducing energy poverty in communities where they are implemented. Almost 31% of the United States population suffers from energy poverty, with the most affected being minority groups. When a family struggles to pay their energy bills, other priorities like food, health, and safety must be sacrificed to be able to afford the upkeep of heat in their home. My research will consist of different cities within the United States that are working to combat energy poverty for their residents, especially how they are focusing on the impact specific to minorities. While there are policies currently intending to support these families, such as Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), these policies are in a constant threat to be defunded. Smart City technology can serve as a way to make more of a direct impact on residents if the policies were to be revoked. I intend to look at the relationship between renewable energy, financial/ social mobility, and minority status in relation to reducing energy poverty in the United States. These analyses will be presented visually through graphs and geographic analysis. Based on my research, I will be able to tell the correlation between minority status and social class within residents who fall under the energy poverty line and see how projects with renewable energy sources can be beneficial to these residents.

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