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How hubs in the Middle East could adapt to become smart cities

SmartHub_BurjAlArab
From a focus on sustainability, to long term goals, here are some of the key factors cities in the MENA region should focus to become smarter cities

SUSTAINABLE CITIES ARE SMART CITIES

Having a robust eco-policy, and keeping sustainability at the heart of decision-making in city planning is key for smart city development. This can be achieved through having basic aspects covered (such as city-wide recycling facilities for all buildings and public spaces), to seeking to replace all public facilities with sustainable options. Electric, reliable public transport, smart energy systems, and ensuring local produce is available, are just some of the ways cities can transform their metropolitan hubs.

HOLISTIC PLANNING IS ESSENTIAL

Operating on a macro, rather than micro-level is key for the evolution of city spaces in the region. An example of how this can be developed is through strong, reliable IT infrastructure as a pillar of development in the city. This can allow for better traffic management, and reaction to accidents when implemented on a macro level. When Rio de Janeiro implemented such a strategy in 2010, the city saw a 30 percent decrease in time taken to respond to accidents, due to being able to quickly process the available data, and therefore send teams much faster to the accident sites.

THINK IN THE LONG-TERM, RATHER THAN THE SHORT TERM

Using research to plan in the long term, rather than making quick, short-sighted decisions is key for cities of the future. This can be achieved through aligning holistic planning, with long term planning. For example, looking at the impact on different sectors upon each other (from health to education) and how these areas can be better managed through a hybrid system. Solutions that cities could look at could include everything from smart apps that assist remote learning, to the use of great smartphone based health management for all citizens.

 

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