While predictions vary in terms of specifics, practically every major news outlet, government institution and academic authority agrees that the trend of global urbanisation is continuing to accelerate rapidly – by 2050, 68% of the world’s population (an estimated 6.7 billion of 9.8 billion people) are predicted to be living in cities. This means that, more than ever, creating a sustainable world will require the creation of sustainable cities.
In order to make sustainable cities, we have to get smarter – smarter urban planning, smarter utilities, smarter transport, all enabling a smarter way of daily living. Increasingly, the race to develop the smart city ideal and the race to find a pathway to sustainable urban living are one and the same. It’s for this reason that the World Future Energy Summit is launching its first Smart Cities Expo & Forum in 2020.
The Smart Cities Expo & Forum is an evolution of the World Future Energy Summit Green Buildings and Mobility shows, which have consistently promoted and supported the development of smart city ambitions in the Middle East and further afield. Each year, we’ve seen separate innovations and technologies slowly coming together as the vision of a truly smart city takes on an increasingly solid shape. With each passing month, it’s becoming easier to see how the future of sustainability lies in the interconnected nature of new technologies, all fitting together as a single cohesive smart city structure.
While smart city innovations and strategies are being developed all over the world, it’s a particularly exciting time for the Middle East in this regard, as political will, public investment and private enterprise come together to accelerate the process of realising the smart city dream. Across the region, long-term government policies to create cities that offer citizens happier, safer, healthier and more sustainable lives are paying dividends.
This is particularly true of the UAE, which has shown unwavering (and accelerating) commitment to its smart city ambitions over the course of the current decade, ambitions that the Smart Cities Expo & Forum aims to support through its coverage and promotion of emerging digital innovations that will enable the creation of ME smart cities. Given that the World Future Energy Summit is hosted in Abu Dhabi each year, the launch of this event feels even more exciting and appropriate, as the region continues to reshape the look, feel and prospects of living life in its cities.
UAE smart city innovations to watch in 2020
The Smart Cities Expo & Forum aims to comprehensively explore the quickly-evolving status of Smart Infrastructure, Smart Buildings, Smart Mobility and Smart Healthcare, all essential ingredients for the next generation of urban living. As we head towards the new decade, the Middle East is increasingly becoming the region to watch.
Siemens 2020 Smart City app: Dubai’s Expo 2020 will be enhanced by Siemens through its cloud-based app designed to monitor and optimise environmental controls, lighting and energy, electric vehicle charging and a raft of other sustainability factors across 130 IoT-connected buildings. If its test phases prove successful, Siemens’ innovation could prove an integral component of the interconnected smart city of tomorrow.
Connecting ports to the smart city: ME Port developers have long recognised the need to use data and technology effectively to rapidly modernise their facilities, but ports can be further optimised by forging better connections with their parent smart city. Through the collaborative integration of 5G networks, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication systems, control of automated access and processing points, integrated security protocols and more, the smart city and its port can boost one another’s logistical capabilities, safely and security levels, and ease of transport and communication.
AI and IoT have crucial roles to play: Recent reports highlight the vast opportunities in using AI and IoT to fully leverage the smart city’s most important resource: data. With thousands of interconnected devices quickly becoming millions and then billions across growing smart cities, humans cannot hope to tackle such a vast data ecosystem unaided, and will need the increasingly sophisticated power of AI to navigate and control it for the benefit of all smart city inhabitants.
Step into the office of the future: Smart cities are visualising and then creating buildings and spaces suitable for a markedly more efficient yet sustainable lifestyle – both at work and at leisure. Bee’ah, the UAE’s leading integrated environmental, recycling & waste management company, is leading the charge with the construction of its new Sharjah-based headquarters which features the latest in AI-empowered systems and smart building controls.
Sky’s the limit with suspended transport systems: Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and skyTran, a global specialist in suspended transport systems, are collaborating on the development of Maglev-power ‘SkyPods’ to be used as part of Dubai’s integrated city-wide smart mobility network. Safe, speedy and sustainable, SkyPods may quickly become a feature of daily life in Dubai.
The Smart City Expo & Forum
The pioneering Smart City Expo & Forum will host the key government departments, technology leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators that are shaping our future urban development – from the buildings we live in to the way we move around.
It will bring together some of the most exciting technology and solution providers to demonstrate how they help city planners create more liveable, happy and healthy environments that will usher the next generation of sustainable urban development.