Dubai Future Foundation, MIT to launch Senseable City Lab
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Dubai Future Foundation, MIT to launch region’s first Senseable City Lab

Dubai Future Foundation, MIT to launch region’s first Senseable City Lab

The global MIT initiative researches and trials pilot projects for planning urbanisation and growth of cities

Gulf Business
Dubai Future Foundation Signs Agreement to Launch Senseable City Lab at WGS Photo courtesy Dubai Media Office

Did you know that cities occupy only 3 per cent of the planet, but consume 70 per cent of energy sources, and account for 80 per cent of CO2 emissions?

To help address this urgent and unsustainable imbalance, Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have signed an agreement to launch the Middle East’s first-ever Senseable City Lab, at the World Government Summit 2023, reported the Dubai Media Office.

The global MIT initiative researches and trials pilot projects for planning urbanisation and the rapid growth of cities.

The Senseable City Lab…

… will conduct interdisciplinary research in Singapore, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Lagos, and now Dubai, where it will play a crucial role in addressing the challenges faced by cities in a fast-changing world.

Abdulla Al Basti, secretary general of The Executive Council of Dubai, said the partnership had the potential to develop the technological skills needed to enhance future urban planning.

He added: “The agreement with MIT emphasises Dubai’s focus on transforming innovations from concepts into reality, while developing new knowledge and tools to better serve our world and keep pace with Dubai’s future ambitions. The partnership’s research and development strategy focuses on finding solutions to the most pressing challenges, working towards increasing productivity, developing services, enhancing economic resilience, and preparing for the future.

“Selecting Dubai as a headquarters for the MIT Senseable Lab enhances the city’s global role in the advancement of future cities through partnerships between government, private and academic sectors, with contributions from scientists, futurists, and innovators from the UAE and the around the world.”

Mattar Al Tayer, commissioner-general for Infrastructure, Urban Planning and Wellbeing Pillar, and chairman of the Supreme Committee of Urban Planning in Dubai, said: “Dubai has adopted the newest innovations and technologies of the future to advance its cutting-edge infrastructure and realise its goals.” It has become a global testbed for future technologies to achieve the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and reinforce Dubai’s position as one of the world’s leading cities of the future.

Fellowship Program for Innovators of the Future

The Senseable City Consortium Fellowship Program was also launched on the occasion.

The programme aims to empower and guide partners to implement actionable ideas to create change. It will also provide opportunities for companies in Dubai to engage with this interdisciplinary research to inform potential future innovations, reported Dubai Media Office.

“The signing of this agreement marks a major step forward in Dubai’s journey towards becoming a smart and sustainable city,” said Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of DFF. “The Senseable City Lab and the Fellowship Program will play a vital role in creating knowledge and game-changing solutions for the urban environment that will benefit not only Dubai but cities around the world.”

The Senseable City Lab in Dubai is expected to have a significant impact on the development of smart cities in the region and the world.

Carlo Ratti, director of the Senseable City Lab at MIT added: “We are proud to collaborate with the Dubai Future Foundation to bring the Senseable City Lab to Dubai. The city’s forward-thinking approach and its commitment to innovation make it the perfect location to explore some of the most pressing issues facing cities today.”

Read: How user experience is instrumental to developing sustainable smart cities

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