Technology and Quality of Life
Human longevity presents one of the most compelling links between technology and quality of life.
According to the Social Security Administration, life expectancy at birth in 1930 was 58 for men and 62 for women. Today, a man reaching age 65 can expect to live on average until age 84.3 and a woman to age 86.6. In fact, the lifespan of an American has increased by 10 years since 1960, the World Bank reports.
But a longer life span is just one measure of technology’s benefits. To be sure, living longer doesn’t guarantee a better quality of life, but it’s an indicator that education, environment, medical care and safety are the keys to a longer, more fulfilling life.
Internet So Fast, You’ll Freak
That’s why development firm Kitson & Partners has placed such a big emphasis on technology at Babcock Ranch. The new town in Southwest Florida will be the first master-planned smart city that will provide lightning-fast Internet network speeds for worldwide connectivity.
Fast Internet speeds have implications for everything from health care to public safety. For example, doctors will rapid fast access to medical records to make critical-care decisions and law enforcement will have the tools to monitor and respond to threats more quickly.
To achieve this, Babcock Ranch collaborated with CenturyLink to deliver gigabit internet service to the community over its fiber network. CenturyLink’s data network will provide all residents access to internet speeds of up to one gigabit per second, with even higher speeds available to area businesses. One gigabit per second lets you download a 45-minute TV show in 1.7 seconds, for example.
Autonomous Cars at Babcock Ranch
Autonomous cars will be the backbone of transportation at Babcock Ranch, moving goods and people around the community. Because human error will be removed, these self-driving cars will be able to sense the environment to avoid accidents.
What’s more, all the town’s power will come from the sun thanks to a partnership with Florida Power & Light. A solar-power electric plant will deliver clean energy to the community’s homes and businesses, eliminating the need for power from fossil fuels that contribute to global warming.
This renewable source of power will make Babcock Ranch the world’s first new town where solar energy production exceeds the total energy consumption. In addition, the FPL Babcock Ranch Energy Center can produce 2.5 times more energy for the money than rooftop solar.
Builders at Babcock Ranch are using the latest construction technology to build homes and commercial buildings that use environmentally friendly materials. For example, carpets, flooring, and wall coverings such as paints will be screened for harmful chemicals.
Homeowners will have better control over the air quality inside their homes because of advanced insulation panels and the most technologically advanced air filtration systems. These systems can remove the moisture that promotes harmful bacteria.
You can read more about Babcock Ranch’s sustainability efforts here.