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July-September 2018

Gulf Cooperation Council smart city initiatives garner momentum

The Middle East is pouring investment into smart cities to enhance government efficiency and citizen services in conjunction with digital transformation initiatives such as Dubai Smart City and UAE Vision 2021, Saudi Vision 2030, Oman Vision 2020 and New Kuwait Vision 2035. Analyst Gartner said citizen engagement has become critical to the success of smart cities because city-wide initiatives are no longer just about optimised traffic patterns, parking management, efficient lighting and improvements to public works. “The way forward today is a community-driven, bottom-up approach where citizens are an integral part of designing and developing smart cities, and not a top-down policy with city leaders focusing on technology platforms alone,” said Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice-president at Gartner. To keep pace with the changing needs of citizens and the development of new business, cities are now striving to become not just smart, but also innovative in enhancing human experiences. Carlo Ratti, professor of the practice, ...

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