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Transforming smart cities into resilient cities

Transforming smart cities into resilient cities

Data-powered insights deliver more resilient infrastructure and shape a more sustainable future

In December 2020, Dubai became one of the first cities in the Middle East to take a data-driven approach to governance when it launched a holistic leadership dashboard for informed decisions to be made in real-time. By way of use cases, the new tool allows authorities to forecast the number of potential Covid-19 cases using existing epidemiology equations, and to identify areas at risk of becoming infection hotspots. By aggregating financial, contractual, and human-resource-related government data into a big-picture yet simultaneously granular overview, the city has improved its resilience and strengthened its ability to thrive in the new normal.

Resilience – for cities and organisations alike – has come into focus in the wake of the pandemic. The term reflects the capacity of a city to ensure continuity in times of disaster, to rebuild quickly and to thrive after the event. High levels of urban resilience rely on quality infrastructure, interconnected communities and good governance. When these components link in with each other, cities can cope with and bounce back quickly from even the most challenging crisis.

Integrated data for smarter decisions
Smart cities optimise the efficiency of urban operations and services and connect to citizens through the use of integrated Command and Control Centres. These centralised units integrate information and communication technology (ICT) devices across IoT networks to manage and administer vital services during and after a crisis.

The pandemic has shown how digital transformation helps organisations evolve into location-agnostic entities that connect remote workers while delivering improved results. As we transition towards a new normal in a post-pandemic world, digital capabilities will increasingly act as a barometer for economic resilience.

Unified data and analytics equip smart organisations – and smart city operators – with more reliable information, helping authorities make sense of this array of data and deploy it across the breadth of applications needed to keep their cities humming. Similarly, artificial intelligence (AI) can leverage data to trial different solutions for maximum impact, offering realistic scenario modelling for resilience building. With AI, tests can be being created and re-run across innumerable different scenarios, automatically identifying the highest-value solution while freeing up developers’ time for more pressing issues.

Maximum performance, minimal costs
Data-powered insights deliver more resilient infrastructure and shape a more sustainable future. Bringing the most advanced technology into a unified data environment enables teams to maximise performance, minimise cost and delay, and ensure efficient operations. This in turn reduces energy usage and cuts emissions both outright through smart models and as a by-product of reducing the need for emergency alerts and rework. With economic resilience now tied so closely to the city’s digital infrastructure, and with the rate of data consumption growing exponentially, cities that invest in innovative technologies will be the ones that thrive in the coming years.

As compared to other urban areas, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have benefited from their status as smart cities in terms of pandemic preparedness and show the way for cities across the region to follow suit. Although digital transformation is a complex, dynamic process, requiring real commitment and engagement from the top, the rewards are impactful for individuals, communities and the planet.

Dr Tariq Aslam is head of MEA at AVEVA

© 2020 MOTIVATE MEDIA GROUP. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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