Upping Your Liveability Index
As cities and countries around the globe are facing an onslaught of new and confusing challenges such as urban sprawl, safety and security, traffic congestion, and transportation accessibility, it is becoming increasingly important for public sector leaders to provide smart solutions. As leaders further embrace the smart city narrative, the main question remains, how will these digital technology solutions help their citizens and communities.
Motivations for adopting smart city initiatives vary, but one primary reason is the desire to enhance ‘liveability’. Liveability plays an important role in how cities compete with other cities for funding, jobs, residents, employers, investment, and positive perceptions. Improving liveability can be seen both as a strategic asset that contributes to growth and as a key ingredient to happier, healthier citizens. The truth is that technology is an enabler, not the end game. Putting people at the forefront of any smart city initiative is key.
Smart City Walking Tour
Throughout this series, we’ve taken you through a whirlwind of important industry trends, smart technologies, and places of digital transformation. At the Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) that took place in Dubai this week, many of our spotlighted topics converged and took centre stage to demonstrate the cross-vertical impact of IoT. In this week’s post, our digital citizen, like me, participated in the IoT World Forum Smart City Experience tour.
During the tour, our digital citizen made stops to witness smart city solutions in action. One of the main highlights of the tour was the demonstration of a digital platform for cities. The demonstration’s Command and Control Centre pulled a variety of the solution proof of concepts into the platform, bringing together an aggregation of data from various sensors, solutions, and partners, advanced data analytics, a wide spectrum of urban services, and partner applications. The digital platform allows communities to use intelligence from these different endpoints and sources of information to drive efficiencies and improve quality of life.
His Excellency, Mr. Ahmad Bin Byat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Smart Dubai Initiative and the CEO of Dubai Holding captured the amazing opportunities afforded to those who embrace technology innovation. “This is an exciting time for Dubai, the UAE and the Middle East region as a whole as we adopt sustainable technology solutions for better public safety and security, transportation, buildings, utilities, healthcare and education.”
Beyond Dubai, communities around the world have already begun using a single digital data platform for managing their urban services. For example, in the United States, Kansas City is bringing together an ecosystem of business and government partners to deliver smart lighting, digital kiosks, a development data portal, and smart water innovation development. Hamburg, Germany is connecting the physical and digital worlds, making it possible to better serve people without having to make large investments in infrastructure. Leveraging the IoT Platform to integrate all solutions into an operations centre, a traffic incident management solution and smart port system will be used to help improve traffic and parking and maximise efficiency across the various logistical routes that converge at the Port of Hamburg, which is central to city’s economy. And again, we’re seeing Smart City Bangalore being used as a blueprint for the future of Digital India and symbolising what the digitisation of a country means for the future of work, education, healthcare, and the electronic delivery of citizen services.
Now more than ever, cities are required to capture and analyse data coming from the many sensors, cameras, and mobile devices in use. They are employing new analytics techniques, such as fog computing and are able to gather, process, and conduct analysis right at the edge of a network, where it can be acted upon more immediately to better serve citizens and communities. Dubai, already one of the most technologically advanced cities, is rapidly transforming into becoming the smartest digital city in the world. Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid further confirms that it’s all about the citizens, stating that: “The ultimate goal of all our initiatives is to make people happy and make their lives simpler by reducing the time taken for completing government services.”
Stay tuned for next week’s post and be sure to join us for the Digital Citizen series finale.
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