Government support critical for successful transformation of city to Smart City
In a pursuit to successfully transition into a Smart City, the government plays a vital role in ensuring that right programs and initiatives are implemented. The presence and support of the government demonstrate public sector’s commitment of offering its citizens with the privilege of a better living that comes when a society is well-equipped with the smart city technologies for city operation, service provision, quality of life, and economic development.
Smart City investments contribute to a strategic vision that enable cities to become more efficient, effective and secure with the use of comprehensive ICT solutions for everyday requirements.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, recently launched the strategy for Smart City, featuring six pillars and 100 initiatives that will ultimately transform the emirate into the smartest city in next three years.
The first phase will see the transition from e-Government to m-Government, capitalizing on high mobile penetration, with an aim to integrate various public services departments, information system and infrastructure into one unified system accessible through a single login. Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, boasts of Masdar City–a pioneering example of a Smart City. It is a perfect example of sustainability where it has integrated smart transportation network with modern technology to reduce the consumption of energy and water and cut down on production of waste.
Elsewhere in the world, many cities have made significant investments to upgrade their technology and services to become smart cities. Chicago has been a smart city since 2011, driven by strong political leadership and well-aligned governance structures. Investments in open fast broadband infrastructure, community engagement and inclusion projects, and technology innovation-specific projects were aimed to create the ‘City-as-a-Platform’ where services can be built on city-owned resources.
Stockholm, on the other hand, has followed a citizen-centric smart city investment to offer high-quality, accessible e-Government services. The city has invested EUR70m in smart city projects across all city departments to create over 50 digital services since 2007. Lastly, Hong Kong has made significant organizational and strategic investment in ICT in line with its ‘Digital 21’ strategy. The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) delivers the government’s ICT programs with an aim to create world-class e-Government services and facilitate digital economy.
Masood Al Awar, CEO, TASWEEK Real Estate Development and Marketing, said, “We laud the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai in launching the Smart City initiative with an aim to offer a better future to its citizens, resident and visitors. The efforts towards the shift to Smart City have been highly successful so far, where several government departments have finalized their strategies for a smooth transformation. There is no doubt that Smart City, including Smart Economy, Smart Learning, Smart Business and Smart Environment, will make a definite contribution to enhance the quality of life in Dubai. Tasweek remains steadfast in its commitment to extend its support to the government in its groundbreaking initiative.”
Smart City technologies ensure seamless and effective information management, which will considerably improve the efficiency, quality and cost of essential services. In Dubai, the Smart City plan is based on three key ideas–communication, integration and cooperation. It also includes ‘My Window to Dubai’ program where communication between the residents and government departments can be enhanced through easy access to public services and information about schools, hospitals, roads and transport network, and sensor systems, to name a few.
In line with Dubai’s Smart City initiative, TASWEEK, a provider of comprehensive real estate development solutions for the UAE and the broader Middle East that leverages over 20 years of extensive experience in valuations, design, and real estate marketing across the UAE, and Inside Investor, a Hong Kong-based company focused on investing in new technologies, will throw the spotlight on successful local and international Smart startups through masterclasses, discussion panels and exhibition at Smart Living City Dubai 2014.
Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, the event will take place from September 15-16, 2014 at Jumeirah Emirates Tower, Dubai. The two-day event will be a platform for startup owners, technology investors, business accelerators, and representatives from public and private organizations to share their perspectives on current urban issues and potential solutions.
Inside Investor is a Hong Kong–based technology investment firm with offices in Dubai, Manila, and San Francisco. Its investments include a business news portal in Asia, a platform for smart technology startups, and an intelligent platform for the business community.
Tasweek, a provider of comprehensive real estate development solutions for the UAE and the broader Middle East that leverages over 20 years of extensive experience in valuations, design, and real estate marketing across the UAE, is organizing Smart Living City – Dubai 2014 in coordination with Inside Investor.