Experts discuss and debate the Future of Smart Cities in a Post-Pandemic World
Doha, Singapore, and Amsterdam are represented in a virtual summit hosted by Msheireb Downtown Doha, one of world’s smartest and most sustainable fully built city districts
Experts from Doha, Singapore, and Amsterdam convened today in a virtual summit to discuss and debate the future of cities, the impact of the pandemic on smart cities and whether the pandemic may prove to be a driving force that re-designs urban spaces for the good of society and the environment.
Smart city representatives, innovators and pioneering developers presented insights from the pandemic and the unique solutions adopted for greater readiness in a post-pandemic world.
In the Summit’s opening speech, Ali Al-Kuwari, Acting CEO of Msheireb Properties — the developer of the host city district, Msheireb Downtown Doha — unveiled that autonomous vehicles are being piloted in the district. These vehicles will have multiple uses, including delivery services, as the pandemic has given importance to touchless, human-free interactions.
“Smart cities are no longer a matter of choice,” said Al-Kuwari. Recently, “smart cities have proven their high capabilities to meet individual and companies’ demands better than conventional cities…in the fields of remote learning, work from home, delivery services that rely on robots or unmanned equipment.”
Autonomous vehicles and smart mobility were also one of four specialist topics discussed in a series of panels. The remaining panels discussed:
- Cyber-security and data privacy concerns given increased internet utilization rates during the pandemic.
- Innovation and sustainability with a focus on creating liveable cities and the collaboration needed to adopt and implement smart city solutions.
- Pandemic-readiness by smart cities through cloud services and the changing investments and priorities of smart governments.
Several smart city experts presented during the summit. Among them were:
- Her Excellency Reem Mohammed Al-Mansoori, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Qatar. Al-Mansoori showcased the launch of online health consultations in response to the pandemic as well as the creation and launch of Qatar’s EHTERAZ application to manage disease transmission chains.
- Leonie van den Beuken, Amsterdam Smart City. Ms. van den Beuken showcased initiatives in measuring air quality, Amsterdam’s Low Energy Acceleration Program and the city’s area for testing ideas that can build future-proof cities.
- Tan Puay Hong, Land Transport Authority of Singapore. Hong highlighted the 500,000 road sensors implemented in Singapore and the Unified Maintenance Hub used to manage maintenance of intelligent systems.
- His Excellency Hassan Al Thawadi, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Al Thawadi highlighted the eco-friendly nature of the upcoming World Cup in terms of CO² emissions, stadiums that will be dismantled and donated to other countries and the use of local and recycled building materials.
- Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani, Vodafone Qatar. Abdullah Al-Thani shared the launch of Qatar’s first Narrowband-IoT Network, designed specifically for smart cities.
Qatar-based Msheireb Downtown Doha is the world’s first sustainable downtown regeneration project and one of the smartest and most sustainable fully built city districts in the world. With all buildings either Gold or Platinum LEED-certified, the district adheres to the highest standards in green building and smart services.
The 100-building, mixed-use development is built with 6,400 photovoltaic solar panels, 430km of underground fibre optic cables, 8,000 smart meters and over 600,000 connected devices to create a connected, futureproof digital urban environment in the heart of the city.
Msheireb Downtown Doha is Qatar’s latest sustainable and walkable city district and destination for living, leisure, and business. Located in a prime location, it offers retail, commercial, residential and civic services.
Recordings from the summit are available here.