Future Cities – Smart Cities Accompanying the Fourth Industrial Revolution
by H.E. Mohamed Al Khadar Al Ahmed, Executive Director of Strategic Affairs at DMT and General Coordinator of the World Urban Forum
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterized by a considerable surge in new digital technologies and artificial intelligence. This trend has created a significant impact upon urbanisation and has played an essential part in the establishment of Smart Cities. With innovation harnessing enhancements across numerous areas of modern life, it is natural that technological advancements are applied to the places closest to us, in our homes and communities.
The tenth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10) will outline the importance of establishing smart sustainable cities. Abu Dhabi is hosting the tenth session of the forum in partnership with UN-Habitat, an event that takes place from the 8th until the 13th February 2020, under the patronage of H.H Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
Abu Dhabi will be the focus of attention for those interested in sustainable urban development during WUF10, as the city draws in experts in the smart and sustainable cities industry around the world. After announcing that more than 100 ministers and about 20,000 people from more than 160 countries will be hosted, we planned a series of discussions solely focused on sustainable smart cities, as a central thread of the forum’s agenda throughout its six days.
Sustainable cities of the future can be defined as those that have the latest facilities in technology, buildings, renewable energy generation solutions, and environmental conservation. The sustainability of cities would will contribute towards positive progress of future societies, as they become more developed and civilized on the path to sustainable development.
One of the aspects of urban development accompanying the technical boom is that cities are established in line with the needs of people, not the other way around, to achieve the equation of smart transformation. This way, smart cities become compatible with development while maintaining their originality and their social, economic and environmental characteristics.
Smart cities are data-dependent and address economic or social challenges to achieve sustainable development. Such data underpins sustainable city planning and inspires future foresight and boosts performance levels to achieve ideal societies for the future.
The innovation and optimal use of modern technologies and data is the cornerstone of establishing future cities which Abu Dhabi seeks to achieve in order to establish its position as a global centre for sustainable information infrastructure. Abu Dhabi is, at this tenth session of the World Urban Forum, bringing together specialists within the sustainable urban industry to apply their respective expertise in creativity of design and sustainable planning. Crucially, the forum will seek to harness technology and smart solutions to enrich infrastructure interconnection, enhancing its efficiency and boosting its effectiveness. The Emirate will do so in a manner that supports the elements of sustainability.
The tenth session of the World Urban Forum represents a global platform around which major companies and institutions involved with developing advanced infrastructure from all countries of the world, as well as major investors, entrepreneurs, and people of creative ideas, will contribute towards the creation of plans and features for future cities in terms of technology, environment, economic, and other related fields. These diverse and complementary perspectives and the resulting ideas and cooperation are the true value of the forum and are a reflection of Abu Dhabi’s position as a prominent global destination for innovation, excellence and creativity.
Keeping pace with urbanization, technological development, and the creation of smart cities, will enhance the well-being of citizens, residents and visitors. This will contribute towards an ideal and healthy environment for living and working, in a manner that provides successive generations with a healthy, satisfying and safe life.
Abu Dhabi sees these development plans which aim to build sustainable societies as a real opportunity to attract investment and employment opportunities, which will activate the wheel of growth and economic prosperity.
Countries must realize that innovation is the primary source of wealth and development, bypassing their dependence on natural resources in order to realign their focus upon talent and ideas as the source of innovation.
Abu Dhabi’s hosting of WUF10 is a vital step towards achieving the capital’s strategic vision in the field of sustainable development, in order to achieve the goals of the United Nations for sustainable development. The long-term development strategy for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi has a degree of focus upon the renewable energy sector, as part of a broader diversification of income sources and to boost the capital’s gross domestic product. Abu Dhabi has already made great strides in this area, advancing to the status of regional pioneer in the field of sustainability, as well as optimising its use of clean energy. Such an approach resonates with grander urban planning schemes for cities, which seek to utilise sustainability as a strategic aspect of urban development.
Abu Dhabi has already demonstrated its ability to develop its strategic growth in a sustainable manner and its ambition is strong to cultivate this still further. The urban environment in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is distinguished by its unique urban identity as it is an Arab city open to the whole world.
The World Urban Forum is being held for the first time in the Middle East in the Arab world and this occurrence in itself is a strong testament to the success of Abu Dhabi’s effective strategy in implementing sustainable urbanization, characterized by the city’s dramatic shift towards urbanization in a relatively short period of time. The forum will provide a detailed study on the effects of modern-day urbanisation on societies, cities, economies, and climate change.
The forum provides an important opportunity to review the most important global and local achievements in the field of sustainability. This includes the concept’s practical applications in housing and smart services, as well as the latest urban and architectural designs for modern projects that keep pace with the latest developments in the field of construction.
WUF10 also provides an opportunity to achieve effective partnerships with institutions supporting sustainable building applications and companies developing smart solutions in the field of construction and services. This will provide cities with a model of infrastructure services that complement the future directions of nations.