DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, 13 November 2017 – The World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization, Smart Dubai, PwC, and the MIT Senseable City Lab jointly [launch today] the 2017 Forum on Future Cities: City Preparedness for the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).
The 4IR is marked by the fusion of built, natural, and digital worlds. Breakthrough innovations come from interdisciplinary works involving big data, machine learning, nanotechnologies, computer vision techniques and biotechnology. The 2017 Forum on Future Cities brings to Dubai major stakeholders in the development of cities, including metropolitan governance, leaders of industry and academia, and civil society, under a shared vision of creating a common urban future.
The event will see key innovators and players from across the region and the world examine, react and respond to technological innovations within three leading areas of urbanization: mobility, the built environment, and the green environment, integrating diverse perspectives from fire starters presenters, panelists, and conference participants. In anticipation of the World Economic Forum’s development of a new 4IR City Preparedness Protocol, participants will be asked to examine the day’s discussion under the lens of “City Preparedness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
Her Excellency Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director-General of the Smart Dubai Office (SDO), said
“Building smart cities that address the 4th industrial revolution needs, is not about the technology and infrastructure readiness anymore, it’s about smart cities leaders’ ability to set measures that make life experiences smart, convenient and happy. We are proud that likeminded organizations from around the world chose Dubai to discuss the 4th Industrial revolution readiness. We are keen to exchange knowledge and expertise, forecast the future of smart-city developments and propose new solutions to address the challenges to make Dubai – and all cities on a smart journey – the happiest and smartest city in the world.”
Carlo Ratti, Director, Senseable City Lab & Founding Partner, Carlo Ratti Associati:
“Architecture has often been described as a kind of ‘third skin’ – in addition to our own biological one and our clothing. However, for too long it has functioned more like a corset: a rigid and uncompromising addition to our body. New digital technologies and distributed intelligence have the potential to transform it, and give form to an endlessly reconfigurable environment. In the future, we could imagine an architecture that adapts to human need, rather than the other way around - a living, tailored space that is molded to its inhabitants’ needs, characters, and desires”.
Hazem Galal, Partner at PwC Middle East and the global Leader for PwC's Cities and Local Government Sector said:
“The 4th Industrial Revolution promises considerable opportunities for driving cities’ sustainable development. To navigate the changes the 4IR will bring, cities will have to ensure that their DNA (fundamental social and economic characteristics) is retained while they make the journey towards smart transformation. Cities should be willing to experiment and at the same time learn from other cities while they develop unique city-specific solutions that leverage the 4IR technologies. They will have to create a balanced strategy which gives due considerations to social, economic and environmental dimensions.”
Left to right: Paolo Santi (Researcher, Senseable City Lab; Istituto di Informatica e Telematica, CNR, Pisa), Hani Ashkar (Territory Senior Partner at PwC Middle East), Carlo Ratti (Director, Senseable City Lab & Founding Partner, Carlo Ratti Associati), H.E. Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr (Director General of the Smart Dubai Office), Cheryl Martin(Managing Board Member for the World Economic Forum), Hazem Galal (Cities and Local Government Sector Global Leader and Partner at PwC Middle East)
Launched in 2014, Smart Dubai is founded in the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make Dubai the happiest city on earth, by embracing technology innovation across all city dimensions. Established in December 2015, the Smart Dubai Office is the government office charged with facilitating Dubai’s citywide smart transformation, to empower, deliver and promote an efficient, seamless, safe and impactful city experience for residents and visitors. Smart Dubai is committed to a collaborative and agile approach to Dubai’s smart city transformation, empowering strategic partnerships with the public and private sector and academia to design and implement services and elevate citywide thought leadership, in line with its mission to make Dubai the happiest city on earth through technology innovation.
The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. The Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization, co-chaired by Abha Joshi-Ghani of the World Bank, and Carlo Ratti of MIT Senseable Labs, is a think tank whose mission is to identify and visualise the systemic problems encountered by cities and apply solutions in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The World Economic Forum seeks to help cities embrace the challenges and opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and embark on a journey of urban transformation. Therefore, the Forum is developing a new 4IR City Preparedness Protocol to support new ways that cities can generate, capture, analyse and share data and commitments relevant to their ability to grasp the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The purpose of this work is threefold: first, to provide cities with both the means and incentives to monitor their progress in leveraging and shaping technological disruptions; second, to provide them with innovative approaches and platforms that enable the use of diverse forms of data; and third, to showcase the opportunity for 4IR technologies to enable more open, distributed and inclusive forms of policy making and consensus-building.
Started in 2005, the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a multidisciplinary research group that studies the interface between cities, people, and technologies. It investigates how the ubiquity of digital devices and the various telecommunication networks that augment our cities are impacting urban living. With an overall goal of anticipating future trends, the Lab brings together researchers from many academic disciplines to work on groundbreaking ideas and innovate real-world demonstrations. This research is undertaken in partnership with cities, the private sector and other universities; through this collaborative approach we strive to reveal how a new, rapidly expanding network of digital devices is serving to modify the traditional principles of understanding, describing and inhabiting cities.
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