A smart city, by its very definition, conjures up visions of developed urban spaces created with for the purpose of providing a high quality of life for its citizens.
To achieve this end, the city focuses on excellence in key areas such as mobility, environment, infrastructure and systems. The drivers for these would be human capital, social capital and ICT. And ultimately, this movement has to be viewed against the overarching theme of sustainable economic development. Qatar, with its vision for 2030, is poised to be one of the key Gulf players in this global move towards smart cities.
A complete understanding of such key elements of smart city management can only be achieved when they are viewed against the context of an actual modern city. Doha can be taken as an example. Its newfound eminence as a major city based on its position in the global energy market has led to a boom in its expansion plans and its attendant resource requirements.
With knowledge becoming the new buzzword in a post-oil scenario, Doha’s new urbanism becomes all the more relevant for Qatar and its 2030 vision. Backed by political commitment and with financial resources at its command, Qatar is constructing a new urban development brand.
This creation of ‘Dohaization’ is a carefully crafted one. Understanding the dynamics of constructing such a brand can offer keen insights into the well-planned process for building Qatar’s new identity. Hear Prof. Ali A. Alraouf, Prof. of Architecture and Urbanism, Head of CB, Training, Research and Development, QNMP Doha, Qatar speak on branding Qatar via Doha’s emerging knowledge-based smart urbanism at the Arab Future Cities Summit.
Coming down to brass tacks, any push for smart city development needs to include citizen participation and empowerment. With open innovation and ecosystems in the cities increasingly coming to the forefront, strategies must be developed with an eye on understanding newer and newer concepts of innovation and collaboration, global innovation chains, transformative and reactive governance models, and the crucial role of the citizen in shaping the direction of participatory urban development. Hear Katalin Gallyas, Policy Advisor, City Council of Amsterdam, speak at length on open innovation ecosystems in cities at the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar 2015.
But such strategies will be deemed incomplete unless ground-level realities are considered. Take parking, for instance. With modern cities acutely aware of the potential pitfalls of an improperly planned parking management system, they usually have a tailored policy in place, to deal with it. However, all plans can go awry unless this policy is integrated with the full scheme of the city transportation plan.
With many cities in the Arab world instituting plans to improve public transport and sustainable modes of transportation, the challenge can often be to understand the subtle difference between adequate, inadequate and extra parking areas usually meant for private passenger vehicles. Hear Mohammad Nabil Ibrahim, Lead Transportation Engineer, Integrated Transportation Planning Division – Surface Transport Sector, Department of Transport, Abu Dhabi, talking about smart solutions for these very real challenges in his session on planning for parking at the Arab Future Cities Summit.
The Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar 2015 will be held on 13-14 April, 2015 at the Ritz-Carlton in Doha, Qatar. The summit is produced by global conference organizers, Expotrade. Visit www.arabfuturecities.com for event details.
Expotrade is a global conference and event organizer with its head office based in Melbourne, Australia and a regional office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Expotrade has delivered some of the largest, most successful B2B industry conferences and events. For almost 10 years, our unique blend of knowledge, experience and flexibility has accomplished an array of consistently top quality events. Today, Expotrade events enjoy such a distinctive edge, they are amongst the best patronized in the calendar. For more information, visit www.expotradeglobal.com
Rukmini Sengupta Roy
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