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Eye of Riyadh
Business & Money | Sunday 12 November, 2017 1:17 pm |

Sustainability and urban development - the underlying focus of the 4th Annual Arab Future Cities Summit 2017

H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif AlNuaimi, Minister, Ministry of Infrastructure Development inaugurated and delivered the welcome address at the 4th Annual Arab Future Cities Summit 2017. The event was held under the patronage of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme, supported by Dubai Municipality and organized by Expotrade Middle East.


The Minister’s welcome address was followed by opening remarks from Dawoud AbdulRahman AlHajri, Assistant Director General - Engineering and Planning Sector, Dubai Municipality. Samira Al Rais, Director of Policy and Strategy, Sustainable Development, The General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai opened the summit with a presentation on Dubai Plan 2021 that comprises over 600 indicators and 600 programs. She highlighted the initiatives under road transportation, energy, and air traffic etc.


International speakers Charlotte Palmer of Peterborough City Council, UK spoke on Smart Society, referring to three case studies on smart city leadership, citizen engagement and social innovation, while Michael Lake, President & CEO, Leading Cities, Boston, USA delivered a session on the future of city resiliency with respect to the economical, ecological and sociological aspects and Paul Copping, Chief Innovation Officer, Digital Greenwich, UK delivered a presentation on how intelligent transport will change the way our cities move with examples of various smart mobility projects.


Fida Mohammed AlHammadi, Head - Research and Building System Section, Dubai Municipality presented on the Green Building Rating System (ALSAFFAT), with an emphasis on the sustainable cities indicator – carbon footprint reduction, waste recycling ratio, reduction in waste production, portion of renewable use and energy and water savings.


Through the first day, Dubai’s journey to be the happiest city, the growth of autonomous vehicles and blockchain technology’s role in helping Dubai achieve its smart city objectives were topics that were discussed at length during three separate panel discussions with renowned subject matter experts.


The second day of the summit began with a session on energizing the future of cities by Sgouris Sgouridis, Associate Professor - Engineering Systems and Management, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, UAE. During his session on ecological urbanism and building ‘smart’, Steven Velegrinis of Perkins+Will pointed out that as cities are transforming radically, a smart city design should include resilient design, and a smart ecological design. This topic was explored further at length during a panel discussion on designing sustainable cities with experts from NORR Group Consultants International Ltd, Place Dynamix, The Sustainable City - Diamond Developers, Cracknell and Perkins+Will.


Mr. Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, said, “In its fourth edition, the Arab Future Cities Summit focused on different aspects of a smart city development - urban development, sustainability, technology adoption thereby encouraging deeper participation from all stakeholders’ present.”


SSK Technologies, Infowatch, VIMANA, The Sustainable City, WebNMS, PCCW Global, Canon, Applied Wayfinding, Boeing, eSave, and Valmont along with many others displayed their smart city solutions at the two-day summit.

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