The comprehensive digital transformation to make cities more liveable, sustainable and economically viable, aptly defines UAE – today’s leader in the Smart City Development. With its innovative smart city strategies, the Kingdom is well on its way to improve public services and quality of life.
For better and efficient urban development, devising a strategy with digital technology as a vital part to manage various city services constitutes a smart city. ICT enhances efficiency through strong integration of all dimensions of the overall system and improved interaction among urban services, which could be as varied as transportation, health care, environment, governance, lifestyle, economy and community. This allows for greater collaboration between urban communities and city governments.
The global market for smart services has shown remarkable growth in past 5 years. Expense on smart-city technologies by 2016 is projected to be nearly $40 billion.
In view of various parameters for the smart city development, the highest rated cities are Vienna, Toronto and Paris. Vienna tops the chart in innovative cities index. Pioneering in smart city and low-carbon solutions like smart grids and smart traffic management, Spain’s Barcelona is rated over other smart cities of New York, London, Nice and Singapore. London scores high on technology and open data.
With world-class ICT infrastructure, Stockholm positions itself well in the list. Tokyo scores high in innovation and digital city categories and is the first entrant in the list from Asia.
Plans for sustainable urban development are becoming more widespread in India where PM Modi’s vision to set-up 100 smart cities is soon taking shape. The government would invest Rs.500 billion-plus in the drive over the next 5 years.
In the Middle East, Dubai’s Smart City Initiatives launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VP and PM of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is gaining innumerable accolades and appreciations for achieving a smart transformation of the city at par with the smartest cities in the world.
Most prominent are the 3 smart initiatives launched by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) – Shams Dubai, Smart Applications and Meters, and the Green Charger. This is the first initiative in the world to provide end-users with generation, transmission and distribution systems.
Shams Dubai regulates the generation of solar energy in buildings. The electricity will be used onsite and the surplus is exported to DEWA's grid. It encourages the entire community to produce electricity from solar energy.
The Smart Meter initiative use smart applications through smart meters and grids and provides many smart features and applications for customers. It supports the demand side management, rationalize consumption and help identify energy efficiency solutions.
The Green Charger initiative establishes electric vehicle charging stations all over Dubai. It will substantially contribute in reducing the Emirate's carbon footprint by increasing use of electric vehicles.
The smart city programme covers many more such initiatives. With sustainable infrastructures, governance and smart services in place, the day is not far when Dubai will become the mainstay of the social and economic development programmes globally.