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A supplement of:



Faster, Further, Smarter



Smart Cities Running the world without consuming the earth

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Introduction A supplement of:

Group MANAGING DIRECTOR Raz Islam EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Vijaya Cherian Editorial GROUP EDITOR Gavin Davids +971 4 375 5480 JUNIOR REPORTER Angitha Pradeep +971 4 375 5479 SUB EDITOR Aelred Doyle Advertising COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR Jude Slann +971 4 375 5714 HEAD OF KEY PROJECTS Andy Pitois +44 7816 843610 Design ART DIRECTOR Simon Cobon DESIGNER Percival Manalaysay


Moving forwards


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Photography PHOTOGRAPHER Maksym Poriechkin Marketing MARKETING MANAGER Sheena Sapsford +971 4 375 5498 ADMINISTRATION EXECUTIVE Zaara Khan +971 4 375 5470 Circulation & Production PRODUCTION MANAGER Vipin V. Vijay +971 4 375 5713 DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Phinson Mathew George +971 4 375 5476 FOUNDER Dominic De Sousa (1959-2015)



The publisher of this magazine has made every effort to ensure the content is accurate on the date of publication. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the publisher and editor. The published material, adverts, editorials and all other content are published in good faith. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publisher in writing. Publication licensed by Dubai Development Authority to CPI Trade Publishing FZ LLC. Printed by Al Salam Printing Press LLC. CPI Trade Media. PO Box 13700, Dubai, UAE. +971 4 375 5470 © Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

t’s interesting to see how the conversation around Smart Cities has evolved. While technology has always been front and centre, it was usually focused on the buildings and critical infrastructure that ensures the smooth functioning of a city. However, this year has seen our experts focus more on how that technology can be applied to our public transport systems and how it can work in tandem with our vehicles and airports. The world of transportation is on the cusp of a profound change. Automation will fundamentally change how we move, and more importantly, how we interact with our transportation networks. Humanity as a species has always been driven by the need to move. By harnessing the power of AI and the Internet of Things, we’ll soon be able to go further and faster than we ever have before.

Gavin Davids


26 @MECN_Gavin MEConstructionNews me-construction-news | Smart Cities Report 2019


Rendering, Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Smart Cities Report 2019 |

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Smart airports




‘Smart airport’ is one of the most common buzz phrases in the industry. Before determining if smart airports are achievable, a key task is to define what the term means and to establish how an airport can make the journey. Airport operational experts define ‘smart’ differently than technology providers or airport designers. Furthermore, while technological advancements are changing and challenging traditional

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design and operational concepts, the tangible benefits of these advancements for a smart airport and its customers are often more difficult to ascertain. So, what makes an airport smart? Is it the business’s ability to maximise its assets to create as much return on investment as possible, or is it the technology deployed across the operation and customer-facing environment to enhance the experience? The answer is both, simply because an airport is as smart as the technology in use permits. It is indubitable that the highly regularised aviation and airport environment faces ever changing requirements driven by regular enhancements in security, by introducing strategies to increase the revenue streams, by optimising airport capital expenditures and investments, and by rigorous control of costs. Under that scope, a smart airport includes faster, safer, standardised processes, which in turn

Smart Cities Report 2019 |

Fast communication A smart airport requires seamless and very fast wireless communications to ensure faster, safer, standardised processes.

require seamless and very fast wireless communication means (5G, WiFi). It is also indubitable that the globalisation of the airline industry forces arriving and departing airports to predict and react to sudden events in advance – a change in the flight schedule or delays in the air traffic at the departing airport affect availability of the stands, gates and ground equipment. Airports are now, with advanced collaborative decision-making expert systems, able to predict and react to such changes. Highly advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence are used for such processes. In regard to security and safety, technologies such as body scanners, CT scanners and smart gates now offer passengers a fast, reliable, secure and enjoyable journey. Finally, in the highly competitive aviation market where airports are a few hundred kilometres apart and carriers select their landing location based on cost and passenger experience, airports tend to diversify their income streams


Threat & Risk Assessment Gap Analysis Security System Design IT/AV Design Master Planning & Development Operational Requirements


Testing & Commissioning Control Room Design System Integration Policies & Procedures Site Surveys & Audits Crisis Management



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Digitising key operational processes to deliver a streamlined, seamless, enriching route from kerb to aircraft, and vice versa, for the airport passenger is paramount, but this undertaking must be achieved at the right cost� with non-aeronautical revenues, and new emerging services are now possible with the use of technology. Applications are now providing indoor navigation with points of interests and pre-booked shopping capabilities. Advanced behaviour analysis algorithms are now able to correlate retail sales with flight destinations. Airports are now cooperating with home carriers and duty-free companies to make the passenger journey as relaxed and enjoyable as possible, and generate new sales channels. Airport designers and construction consultants are now taking into

consideration the available technology, the new operational trends, and their clients’ need to maximise profits. New design includes de-facto communication technologies and smart applications for operation, security and enhanced passenger experience. Moreover, the use of BIM technology during the design and implementation phases allows accurate as-built information through a single point of truth. Once the facility is commissioned and tested, and following the ORAT phase, the BIM model is linked with a facility maintenance system and 3D navigation allows easier access to asset information.

Smart Cities Report 2019 |

Accurate information Using BIM technology during design can allow the model to be linked with an FM system, ensuring accurate information during the operations and maintenance phase.

Digitising key operational processes to deliver a streamlined, seamless, enriching route from kerb to aircraft, and vice versa, for the airport passenger is paramount, but this undertaking must be achieved at the right cost and within the correct parameters. Advancements in check-in, single-token travel, radio frequency identification (RFID), beacon technology, and baggage drop-off and retrieval are now very robust, have been introduced in some form at most modern airports, and can enable airports to manage more passengers more quickly, increasing operational efficiencies while also potentially postponing the need to invest in and build new facilities to manage passenger growth. This ensures that the business case for this type of implementation can be relatively straightforward and quickly deliver a high return on investment. This perceived quick win ensures that most key solution and system providers within the aviation industry focus on these types of solutions. Their interest and focus are not so clear, however, regarding the overall strategy for integration, automation and data use within the airport environment, to deliver a truly smart airport. Given the projected technology trends within airports, there has never been a better time for airports to determine the right strategy when they decide to upgrade or build new facilities and ensure they can maximise investments going forward.



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Dubai International Airport (DXB)

Improving reliability and efficiency at DXB MIDDLE EAST

Increasing power network reliability and efficiency with ABB Ability Network Manager THE CUSTOMER Dubai International Airport (DXB) is the world’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic. With flights to more than 260 destinations, the airport handled nearly 90m passengers in 2018. DXB wants to become the world’s largest airport. However, airport leadership recognises that growth can’t come at the cost of best-in-class passenger services and facilities. THE CHALLENGES With 88m people a year taken from DXB to destinations across six continents by more than 140 airlines, any power outage could cost billions of dollars. Dubai Airport has one common system handling its 11kV and 0.4kV and approximately 100,000

signals. Although, its grid is concentrated in a much smaller area, that activity is equivalent to an average European power grid control centre’s data traffic. ABB delivered DXB’s original supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system in 2004. The SCADA system enabled remote monitoring and control of complex systems. Combined with a data acquisition system, the digital technology helped control room operators acquire information about the status of remote equipment and provided the analytics to support decision-making processes and optimise operations. Yet, over the 12 years, DXB’s monitored network grew fivefold. The airport added capacity in a phased manner, to include the construction of Terminal 3, concourse 2 and concourse 3, a VIP terminal, a car park and a cargo terminal. The capacity addition also included the construction of an additional metro rail line and two metro stations. An upgrade was necessary to support airport expansion so that the network could continue to meet requirements. THE SOLUTION ABB upgraded the SCADA system powering the electric

Smart Cities Report 2019 |

network. Replacing the central computers and deploying the latest version of ABB Ability Network Manager SCADA software for network control increased operational reliability and power network efficiency. DXB’s control room operators are able to remotely monitor an enormous number of field devices including transformers,

Dubai’s upgrade provided advanced automation of the power distribution network and enabled reliable and efficient power supplies”

switchgear, remote terminal units, ring main units and main distribution boards. The software connects crucial field devices to the brain of the airport in the control room, where the SCADA monitoring and control system continuously analyses more than hundred thousand data points. The system not only allows remote monitoring of all the airport substations, but also automatically sends real-time fault alarms to system operators and can warn of impending events. THE RESULTS A top-notch infrastructure is critical when monitoring and controlling the enormous number of assets both outside and inside the airport. ABB Ability technology future proofed DXB for continued expansion. For example, solution benefits include greater reliability, with an advanced system logic that maintains supply of power to the airport; even if the main feeds experience a loss, a backup power supply kicks in from gas turbine generators. Powering the world’s busiest airport requires operational reliability, efficiency and the ability to continually grow. Modernisation with digital technology has played an important role.

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Making BIM Bigger The technology of BIM has transformed the construction industry over the last few years, with every discipline involved in creating and sustaining the built environment changed by it. Now learn how BIM can be taken from developing buildings and expanded into a tool used to plan and create cities, and infrastructure systems.

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Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency in public buildings: Saving resources MIDDLE EAST

JesĂşs Sancho, Middle East managing director of ACCIONA, discusses how smart cities can utilise energy efficiencies technology to optimise their energy resources Smart Cities Report 2019 |


ities have become the most populated places in the world. Their growth changes every year with the increase and arrivals of new inhabitants, and it is estimated that this growth will go on increasing over the next few years. According to the latest UN report, 68% of the population will live in cities in 2050; the building sector has enormous potential to mitigate the impact of climate change in both developed and

developing countries. This scenario means that the main cities have the challenge of becoming smart cities. By making the most of the energy resources and taking advantage of information and communication technology (ICT) data, it is possible to create better infrastructure and city asset management, which promotes more balanced urban planning. Smart cities create great business opportunities for both the public and the private sectors. One of them involves the optimisation of energy


68% population will live in cities by 2050, according to a UN report

resources through energy efficiency technologies. The aim is to reduce the energy consumption of a given asset and then share the associated savings between the client and the sustainability expert company. In this way, both parties have a tangible – and quite fast – profit, along with a reduction of the carbon footprint for decades to come. For example, the opportunity to make use of these technologies in the UAE is significant, since buildings there require heavy cooling systems to cope with the extreme seasonal heat and other energy-hungry equipment. The implementation of energy efficiency procedures in those buildings, along with the UAE commitment to renewable energies, is paving the way to drastically decrease the impact to the environment. It is important to create awareness of energy efficiency practices and to initiate more retrofitting of existing – inefficient – buildings and projects, to reduce overall energy consumption. The residential sector is responsible for the consumption of almost 47% of the GCC’s total energy, against a global average of 25%. Considering that there are 25,000+ ongoing construction projects in the GCC right now, it is extremely important to join forces, address current challenges and harness the immense opportunities that lie ahead. Systems, hardware and equipment must be updated and appropriately maintained to reach a balance between energy and water savings. Should we not take corrective measures to improve energy efficiency in the building sector, energy demand is expected to rise every year. One of the key drivers to attain more intelligent buildings and system integration is through the energy savings that can be achieved. Evaluation of occupancy patterns, application of daylight, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting sensors in appropriate locations are only a few examples. A report published in October 2016 by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) noted that cities account for 65% of global energy use and 70% of man-made carbon emissions. This makes


the effects of climate change mean that energy efficiency has become not merely our responsibility but also an opportunity, a way to encourage a greater commitment to sustainability throughout society. By consuming energy sensibly and efficiently, public authorities are taking on an educational role and leading by example.

Considering that there are 25,000+ ongoing construction projects in the GCC right now, it is extremely important to address current challenges and harness the immense opportunities that lie ahead. Systems, hardware and equipment must be updated and appropriately maintained to reach a balance between energy and water savings” optimising energy consumption a fundamental objective of a smart city. Therefore, efficiency is one of the principles that should govern the work undertaken by all public authorities. Achieving the desired effect by using the least possible resources is an obligation that applies to every area of our public administrations. In recent years, this approach has become increasingly relevant to the way they use energy resources. Environmental awareness and the growing public concern about

THE MOST MODERN TECHNOLOGIES FOR ANALYSING MILLIONS OF READINGS The essential first steps towards saving energy involve understanding how that energy is used, how much energy is consumed, when it is used, and to do what. For this reason, it is essential to do an energy audit on the group of buildings that we want to be more efficient, in order to diagnose energy consumption. Each building is then monitored to produce real-time data on consumption by all the installations and systems: lighting, heating, air conditioning, etc. By applying these analysis techniques, all sorts of specific savings and efficiency measures are implemented, such as changes to how installations are used, the replacement of obsolete or inefficient equipment, and the use of control and automation devices. This allows a response to isolated alerts raised by unusual consumption and provide information that should lead to operational improvements, the identification of inefficient consumption patterns, etc. It is imperative to cut down usage of fossil fuel power generation plants in favour of renewable plants and alternative power plants such as waste-to-energy facilities. The newest residential and commercial buildings must meet more stringent energy efficiency targets to accomplish a 30% reduction in energy consumption by 2030. Not being able to do so will leave future generations struggling with all the negative consequences of climate change. Improving the energy performance of buildings is a key element in the fight against climate change. With the government sector leading the adoption of retrofit projects across the GCC, we are optimistic that the above goals will be accomplished. | Smart Cities Report 2019



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Digital twins

Shaping the digital future MIDDLE EAST

Steve Cockerell, Industry Marketing Director for Rail at Bentley Systems, discusses how the built environment can optimise technology to think outside the box Smart Cities Report 2019 |

What is digital twin technology and why is it so important? We have seen the industry progress over a number of years from drawings to CAD to BIM, and if we talk about where BIM is headed, and the advancements that can be achieved through that, I think the next evolution will be digital twins and that is certainly a focus for our work, from Bentley’s perspective. Digital twins is certainly important, one, because, I think there will be multiple digital twins throughout

project delivery of an infrastructureplanning, designing and construction but also in operations and maintenance. From my perspective, digital twins can be leveraged in different ways- to improve quality using technologies like 4D construction, simulation and modelling and also to be able to construct right the first time. In an operational scenario, being able to drive up the performance of an asset and ensure its reliability and availability to the end-users are also focus points.



I would say it’s early days, and there are many industries that are far more advanced than infrastructure but there are many projects that are applying the idea of digital twins; from small-scale to cityscale developments” Where does the digital twin technology fit in and how advanced is its use? I would say its early days, and many industries far more advanced than infrastructure, but there are many projects that are applying the idea of digital twins from small-scale to city-scale developments. Information from digital twins can be leveraged to make better decisions and simulate how infrastructure will perform in case of a calamity like a flood or a storm. And then, it can be used to calculate how the performance of that infrastructure will affect, in case of a smart city, other infrastructure. This can be taken forward to assess the performance of other assets such as transport, for example. So, for an organisation like the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai, they can have huge gains by connecting all the data and information to simulate scenarios and prepare for any event. For example, in Northern Europe, cities like Helsinki are building a city-scale digital twin and planning activities such as enhancing the environment for residents and visitors and emergency planning. It’s definitely something that is growing in the industry and when technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and ultimately artificial intelligence (AI) as well as sensors are added to it, it can mature in the market.

What are some of the wider applications of digital twins around the world? The deliverables of BIM tend to be snapshots at a point in time, whereas the big difference with digital twins is the continuous synchronisation it offers, so one can wind forwards and backwards through the design or operation of an asset. An example of this is of a railway station in London. With the use of digital twins, authorities are looking at pedestrian simulation and how the station is performing based on the people that are moving through it. And then, in case if this station feeds a concert, how does increasing 50,000 more people in six hours change how that infrastructure performs. So, in the end, the use of information from sensors that measure heat or vibration that are built into infrastructure is delivering that insight to do things in a certain way. Sustainability is another component of this technology. The Skanska, Costain and STRABAG (SCS) Railway, the second high-speed railway system in the UK has followed the premise that whatever is designed and constructed will generate carbon. Hence, they have linked their designs with cost-estimation and carbon calculation to be able to make different, sustainable decisions when they design and construct. They are keeping a close eye on the materials used and the

Forwards and backwards Digital twins allow an operator the opportunity to wind forwards and backwards through the design of an asset.

Better decisions Information from digital twins can be leveraged to make better decisions and simulate how infrastructure will perform.


Bentley Systems has invested more than $1 billion in research, development, and acquisitions since 2014

process followed and looking at the sustainability impact of that decision and connecting that and using analytics to work out the best way to achieve targets set out for sustainability. So, there are different applications of digital twins and there are different ways on how information can be leveraged to think outside the box and change the outcomes. How do you see the future of the digital twin technology evolving? I think the highlight is that with the amount of work that exists, we can’t carry on doing what we have always done, something has got to change, and we have got to work smarter. Because, we can have the best technology in the world, but if we don’t know what to achieve from it and haven’t got everybody moving in the same direction, we are going to fail. Just to take it to the natural progression, for example, in Dubai, the objective is for the city to be a happy city and all of this technology contributes to the happiness of peoplethe residents and visitors who are using that service or infrastructure. And I think that we are all on a journey with our understanding of BIM and as many definitions there were for BIM five years ago, there is an equal or greater number of definitions for digital twins today and who knows what’s coming around the corner! | Smart Cities Report 2019



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Internet of Things

Facilities management evolution: The implementation of Internet of Things in smart buildings


Chris Roberts, CEO, Eltizam Asset Management Group, on how facilities management firms can benefit from using the Internet of Things to improve their performances and efficiencies Smart Cities Report 2019 |


s home is the place where you live, sleep, eat and spend time with family, a lot of thought, time and effort is spent to ensure you are happy in your surroundings. But we all spend significant parts of our day in other buildings and facilities – where we wish to be in a clean, safe and functional environment that seamlessly provides the highest standards and services. Much like yourself for your own home, facility management (FM)

companies perform many similar tasks for all the other developments out there, including office buildings, malls, schools, hospitals and airports. Much of the general public is unaware, unless they are facility managers, of the complex array of activities, manpower and equipment deployed behind the scenes in back-of-house areas, basements and machine rooms, to ensure that the buildings you work, visit or stay in are comfortable, safe, efficient and smart. Like many other sectors, the FM industry has evolved


Remote operators IoT-enabled devices have made it possible for FM service providers to carry out many tasks remotely.

Part of the team The network of IoT sensors used by Tafawuq has come to be regarded as part of the FM team on the project they are deployed on.

significantly in recent years, helped to a large extent by advancements in technology. But while buzzwords like AI, blockchain, IOT and digital transformation are ever-present in industry publications, discussed on panels, and the theme of so many LinkedIn posts and emails, to what extent have these very concepts helped the FM industry improve? Of the four aforementioned concepts, it is IoT which has advanced the furthest within the FM industry, so it is worthwhile discussing deeper what that means for our industry, and for clients in general. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term present in the general media for the best part of the last decade. In the context of the built environment, it was first widely discussed as something that will transform the consumer home experience, with use cases such as turning on the dishwasher from your office desk or regulating the curtains from your mobile phone. But many years later, consumers have not (yet) been the main beneficiaries of IoT technology. Instead, it has been deployed by industries like FM to transform the way these companies deliver services to building occupants and asset owners. IoT devices have made it possible for FM service providers to carry out many tasks remotely, such as remote monitoring of a wide range of systems such as lighting, fire suspension and security; managing energy consumption; and managing security access and control. Facility managers are using IoT across various platforms to gather live information regarding potential emergency situations, with a view to responding before they escalate. These capabilities lead to higher efficiency, with more tasks able to be carried out with fixed manpower resources. It is these IoT devices that are making our buildings smarter while we sleep, work and go about our days. Within the Eltizam Group, our FM company Tafawuq has successfully been using a network of IoT sensors in a flagship residential community on Reem Island Abu Dhabi, for a number of years.

IoT devices have made it possible for FM service providers to carry out many tasks remotely, such as remote monitoring of a wide range of systems such as lighting, fire suspension and security�


Feedback from the operations teams has been overwhelmingly positive, with the sensors seen as an extension of the team, relaying important operating data to control rooms. The Navigant Research company projects that the worldwide IoT market for intelligent buildings will exceed $22bn in 2026, emphasising the progress and rapid developments within the sector. IoT is an imminent reality; it is necessary for both asset owners and operators to understand the potential capabilities and benefits of this technology. Eltizam’s training academy in Abu Dhabi plays a significant role in educating employees about the latest technological developments affecting our industry, including IoT, blockchain and AI. Academy trainers ensure that key operational staff are up to speed on industry applications of these technologies and able to explore how they can be best deployed to serve the assets under management. In this way, we hope to use IoT to make our buildings smarter so that we can catch problems before they spread, ensure the safety and comfort of building occupants, and use data to work more efficiently. | Smart Cities Report 2019



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Smart vehicles

Cities under pressure MIDDLE EAST

Big Project ME hears Microsoft’s Trudy NorrisGrey’s vision of how vehicles fit into a future of smart cities


entley’s Year in Infrastructure Conference returned to London in 2018, bringing along its usual line-up of experts that are helping to find better ways to integrate transportation into current and future cities. “Among them was Microsoft’s Trudy Norris-Grey. The softly-spoken, Wales-born visionary is the IT giant’s head of its CityNext, Connected Infrastructure and Global Business Development programmes and was in

Smart Cities Report 2019 |

buoyant mood. Taking an expansive look at the way data is re-shaping our lives, she wonders how many businesses are truly ready to embrace the way customers and consumers will connect with companies in the very near future. “What I would like to share is the need for each one of us, me, you, to really think about how you’re going to be re-designing your products and services and how are you going to provide after-sales support in the future? Data is everywhere. Are you using it,” she asks.


number of cars projected to be on the road globally by 2050


“Traditionally we’ve known everything about our product before we allow release. Things are changing. With data and devices being out there, we’re going to be catching data that improves the product, improves the support, and will actually give us insight to improve what we do for our customers. And that we definitely be true for people that visit cities and its citizens…I’m still learning.” Norris-Grey says that approximately 55% of the world’s inhabitants currently live in urban areas, and this

is expected to increase to 68% — more than 6 billion people — by 2050. In direct correlation, the number of cars on the road is projected to more than double to over 2 billion by 2050, further exacerbating crowding and traffic concerns. As cities grow and become more densely populated, she argues that urban planners face the challenge of ensuring citizens have affordable, sustainable transportation options that meet their needs. This will put significant pressures on cities, which already consume about 75% of global primary energy, yet must determine how to keep millions of citizens moving via both public and private transportation. “Fortunately for today’s citizens, the future of urban mobility has never been brighter,” she intones. Norris-Grey wants us to imagine a world where autonomous vehicles travel the streets and highways. Cities connect citizens to multi-modal forms of transport, such as trains, buses, and ride-sharing, with intuitive journey planning and payment systems. Rich data from smart infrastructure, transportation networks, and connected vehicles will empower city planners, transit agencies, and other urban leaders to make progress in urban mobility for generations to come. Cities will have the capability to adapt in real time, she says, to traveller preferences and build dynamic fare models, as well as proactively manage infrastructure and vehicle traffic flow by anticipating issues before they occur and identifying emerging trends. “This smart mobility future is becoming more of a reality as cities and urban leaders turn to digital transformation,” she believes. According to Norris-Grey, at least 60% of the 6.5 billion people living in cities by 2050 will have access to a smart phone. “That’s what the analysts are telling us now but I think it could be bigger than that. Think about the volume of data, that’s 44 zettabytes (1 zettabyte is equal to 1 trillion gigbytes). This volume is enough to capture in CD quality every spoken word that’s

Bright future The future of urban mobility has never been brighter, as cities and countries explore smart solutions to their transport problems, Norris-Grey says.


Cubic Transportation Systems connects more than 38 million commuters and travellers globally every day


ever happened by anybody who ever lived. We’re going to see further exponential growth. A million devices per hour are coming on stream. “That’s huge, we can’t sort of imagine it. But then you know it’s in our cars. It’s all the street lamps. It’s in the stadia. It’s in the cities. Is it in our offices. My question to you is are you ready to capture that? Can you imagine how you might use data to improve what you deliver to your customers. Whether those customers are in cities or not.” Norris-Grey says that businesses and organisations from both the private and public sectors have to realise interconnectedness of everything. “It’s above ground, underground and in space!” She enthuses, before adding that city planners now need to place connectivity and the way data is used as a priority in their planning. “If you’re a city leader you’re interested in transportation and it being a green city. The idea is that we have the opportunity to | Smart Cities Report 2019


Microsoft and Bentley puts Malaysia into the fast lane

connect all these different devices. Everyone can have better operations and a better experience.” Microsoft and its partners are developing cutting-edge technologies that empower cities to establish intelligent transportation networks and optimize urban mobility for citizens—and it all starts with data. Solutions from Microsoft and its partners help cities build smart infrastructure by connecting billions of IoT-supported devices at the edge on a secure platform that extends from the silicon to the cloud. Once connected, this vast network of devices empowers cities to generate the rich data required to apply artificial intelligence (AI) and uncover insights they can use to take action. By aggregating IoT and location data while utilizing secure cloud technology, cities and transit agencies can use AI to identify congestion and reroute traffic, alert citizens to parking options, ensure consistent transit vehicle operation with predictive maintenance, and develop programmes to incentivise transit use. They can even improve smart energy management by optimizing electrical vehicle charging with data gleaned from smart grids. “We talk to city leaders about them creating safer, healthier cities that are more prosperous, sustainable and more effective of course. So it’s a journey but we come back to these four things. But again one of the things that we found in Microsoft is that Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Connected Vehicle Platform, supported by industry-leading partners, utilises data to take cities to a new level of urban mobility. Telematics and predictive services improve the driver experience using telemetry data to deliver predictive maintenance notifications. Consumers can stay connected with in-vehicle conference solutions, productivity tools, and intelligent personal assistant support. Advanced driver assistance systems increase safety and performance by delivering road and environment data to the driver or autonomous driving system in real time, all while utilising location services and data to navigate,

The Sungai BulohSerdang-Putrajaya [SSP] line is the second line of Mass Rapid Transit Corporation’s [MRTC]’s Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit railway project, which will create better mobility for residents and make it possible to ease traffic by an estimated 160,000 cars daily. As Malaysia’s largest infrastructure project, the SSP line includes 11 interchange stations, making it easier for commuters to transfer to existing and future rail lines, while 16 stations will have park and ride facilities. In addition to creating an estimated 130,000 new employment opportunities, the line has the potential to generate $5 billion in cost savings per year as a result of reduced traffic congestion. The MRTC project team used Bentley OpenRail’s connected data environment comprising the shared services of ProjectWise and AssetWise, powered by Microsoft Azure

Smart Cities Report 2019 |

to ensure seamless information exchange, real-time collaboration, and management of asset information across the lifecycle, among hundreds of team members. Poh Seng Tiok, director of planning and design for MRTC, noted that on a project of this scale and complexity, it is essential to effectively manage and share the huge amount of data across the entire project. “We need to make sure that all the different [project] phases are well covered and information that we build up during design, and during construction are taken forward during the operation and maintenance stage,” said Poh. “By turning to the cloud-based solution, we are able to streamline collaboration across all teams and identify and mitigate potential issues, before they impact cost, schedule, and safety. We expect to increase productivity by about 35%.”

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search, route and improve travel time. The company is also working with partner Cubic Transportation Systems, a leading integrator of payment and information technology that connects more than 38 million commuters and travellers globally every day, to process 24 billion transactions annually. Cubic builds intelligent solutions on a versatile platform for mobility management, with a focus on transportation agencies in cities responsible for managing road networks and public transportation. Cubic works to create the easiest ways for citizens to travel and pay with Microsoft, taps into the cloud to securely manage data, and supports the flexibility and scalability customers need to respond in a constantly changing environment, she explains. Microsoft’s partner PwC is offering another example of what the future of smart cities could look like. “Their capabilities span the diverse needs of modern cities and their citizens across urban mobility and through infrastructure, data, analytics, as well as collaborative planning and public safety. PwC worked with the province of Ontario to unite 11 transit agencies via PRESTO, a programme that helped citizens travel more efficiently through the system with one payment card. “By taking advantage of Microsoft’s powerful, scalable data platform and Power BI visualizations, PwC empowered the province to convert analytics into a decision and action platform and make the changes (like in payments) that customers wanted.” The company has also been working with Bentley to help the infrastructure company create digital twins, models used by engineers and architects, construction companies, and owner-operators around the world, via its cloud based Azure solution to optimise the design and creation of roads, bridges and other transport systems. Norris-Grey says it won’t be long before every building or installation will have a digital twin. “The question is how fast? Design, construct, own, operate and the enjoyment of that building or installation is improved with the digital twin. We have made great progress.”

The new generation Scania has never lost a fuel challenge No matter the competition, Scania has always ended up on top – in every test and every challenge. So when we say that we can deliver he best fuel consumption with the Next Generation Sania, you don’t have to take our word for it. The numbers speak for themselves. Read more about fuel efficiency at


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Armstrong Ceiling Solutions

Achieving smart sustainability through ceiling solutions MIDDLE EAST

Smart sustainability is all around us and is increasingly becoming a part of everyday life, from the home environment to the places we work. Mohamed Khaled, Sales Director Middle East for Armstrong Ceiling Solutions shares his thoughts

Smart Cities Report 2019 |


ith an increasing pressure on companies to create more sustainable buildings, Mohamed Khaled, sales director Middle East for Armstrong Ceiling Solutions, a leader in commercial ceiling, suspension systems and wall solutions, shares his thoughts on how companies can achieve smart sustainability by investing in ceiling solutions. Modern technology is at the forefront of everything we do, and we are starting to see cities such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai develop smart sustainable buildings by investing into innovative technology systems

and green materials and resources. However, with climate change being one of the biggest challenges we face in today’s world, the need for smarter sustainability has never been greater. SMART SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH CEILING SOLUTIONS Smart sustainability is crucial to protect our world against climate change, from improving the performance of a building, reducing carbon footprint, choosing sustainable materials over traditional methods, integrating userfriendly technology and much more. There are many ways to achieve smart sustainability, but companies should start by looking at recycling and reusing old materials:


From energyefficient linear lighting to heating, cooling and ventilation systems, all of these builtin solutions can be controlled through the ‘internet of things’, ensuring sustainability is front of mind” Reuse – Reusing materials can help lower costs and enable companies to use resources more efficiently. This can be achieved by integrating old ceiling structures with new styles to create sustainable fusions of old and new. For example, creating a ceiling to channel natural light can be achieved by using sun tunnels of ceiling portholes. Ceiling solutions with Cradle to Cradle certification have been designed to be endlessly re-useable, taking into account how a product is designed, what’s in it and where it goes after use. Therefore, companies should look out for this certification when specifying building products as they have been designed for recycling using manufacturing processes which minimise water consumption and adopt renewable energy strategies. Recycle – Recycling is the true test of a sustainable ceiling and thankfully, ceilings are highly recyclable, with closed-loop processes taking them from manufacturer to building, and around again. Ceilings with high levels of recycled content have a range of other benefits including no landfill or skip costs as well as additional credits for LEED and BREEAM.

optimised depending on the building occupancy and climate conditions. Here are the key factors to bear in mind: Energy-efficiency – Creating an energy-efficient building will provide an economical solution in the long run. By implementing passive heating and cooling ceiling systems, companies can ensure they have better control of creating a constant, comfortable temperature around the clock. Acoustical comfort – Highperformance acoustics are essential to deliver an aesthetically pleasing environment and should be a top design priority, particularly in green buildings where the norm is not only

Embrace change Companies need to invest in new technologies that will maximise building performance and efficiency.

Recycle and reuse Companies need to start looking at recycling and reusing old materials as part of achieving smart sustainability.


to use fewer resources, but to create environments that promote health and wellbeing for individuals. The use of technology – Smart technology has the ability to ensure we can create smart buildings that look and play the part. Technology that is incorporated into ceiling systems gives businesses more freedom of choice to create an aesthetically appealing and sustainable solution. From energyefficient linear lighting to heating, cooling and ventilation systems, all of these built-in solutions can be controlled through the ‘internet of things’, ensuring sustainability is front of mind. Visual comfort – A well designed ceiling with high light reflectance improves space illumination, allowing for fewer light fixtures, a reduced electrical light output, lower maintenance costs and a reduced cooling load. High light reflectance ceilings can enhance the benefits of indirect lighting by improving overall lighting uniformity, returning up to 90% of the light back into the space, compared to 75% with standard ceilings. WHAT’S NEXT? More companies need to embrace change and invest in new technologies that will maximise building performance and efficiency, and more importantly, create smarter sustainable buildings for the future. By making one change, everyone can play their part in building a better world.

CHOOSING SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS When trying to achieve smart sustainability within buildings and spaces, ceiling systems, in particular, can be integrated so that lighting, HVAC and thermal comfort can all be | Smart Cities Report 2019


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Smart transportation

Changing track MIDDLE EAST

Bernard Roux, CEO, Thales UAE, discusses how it is helping the UAE transform its transport systems

What is Thales’ history in the UAE? Thales group has a longstanding partnership with the UAE. We’ve recently seen the Dubai Metro, the longest driverless network in the world, celebrate its 10-year anniversary with over 1.5bn commuters having used the service over this period of time. Often cited as one of the UAE’s most ambitious projects, we are proud to be part of this landmark achievement. In 2016, we were also selected by the RTA (Roads & Transport Authority) to equip ‘Route 2020’, currently under construction. This will be a 15km

Smart Cities Report 2019 |


commuters to have used the Dubai Metro in its first ten years of operation

extension of Dubai’s metro red line with seven new stations linking the existing network to the future site of World Expo. Another landmark project has seen Thales and the RTA work together to support Dubai’s global initiative to become the world’s smartest city by putting into operation RTA’s Enterprise Command & Control Center (EC3). The centre will improve Dubai’s transportation operational efficiency and customer service provided by the RTA What sort of technology is Thales providing to the UAE’s


The world of transportation is on the verge of a ‘digital revolution’ which will profoundly change the industry. Autonomous transport will be a fundamental change whereby we’ll see the evolution of automated trains into autonomous trains” transport providers and how will this technology improve efficiencies and performance? In urban mobility, Thales solutions allow the metro to operate driverless and realise major efficiencies. These include our signalling solution; an integrated telecommunications, security and passenger information system; an operational control and supervision system; and rail fare collection systems. These integrated systems have a proven track record in optimising life-cycle costs due to low maintenance overheads and operating costs. With regard to mainline mobility, even traditional railway systems such as signalling and interlocking are evolving to take advantage of technological advancements. Signalling solutions play a key role in ensuring the safety and security of the main rail network. With the support of digital technologies, these systems will go beyond its current capabilities to increase operational capacity, frequency of operations and reduce delays. The successful digitalisation of transport networks will ultimately improve passenger experience. Operators will have the ability to provide continuous a real-time information to passengers, throughout their entire journey. They can derive important insights of passenger behaviour which, in the long term, will enable further enhancements to the passenger experience.

As countries such as the UAE, with its visionary leadership, continue to push the boundaries of innovation, our aim is to partner with customers and develop mobility solutions that are more efficient, secure and sustainable. The ambition is to continue to work with our local partners, to deliver new technologies to the Middle East, and build on our historical presence and strategic partnerships in the transport sector. Thales is perfectly positioned to support and add value throughout the entire technology supply chain. Through the acquisition of Gemalto, a leader in digital security, the group aims to extend its broad expertise in cybersecurity and IoT to give companies the confidence that their data is secure. What are the challenges around the uptake of Smart Transportation technology in the region? Speaking broadly, the world of transportation is on the verge of a ‘digital revolution’ which will profoundly change the industry. Autonomous transport will be a fundamental change whereby we’ll see the evolution of automated trains into autonomous trains. Automated trains have a proven track record of safety and are more reliable than traditional trains, making it possible to increase a network’s capacity. The next step will be towards autonomous trains whereby they

15km length of Dubai’s metro red line extension, with seven new stations linking the existing network to the future site of Expo2020

Network protection Addressing the cybersecurity threat from the onset will be the biggest challenge facing transportation stakeholders.

Digital revolution The world of transportation is on the verge of a digital revolution that will profoundly change the industry, says Bernard Roux.


are equipped with a brain (AI & big data) as well as eyes (radars, lidars, sensors an cameras) to analyse and understand their environment. Thales is currently testing autonomous train concepts with several operators around the world. Another major innovation set to revolutionise transportation will come from smart infrastructure made possible by IoT technology. This will transform traditionally ‘mute’ devices along tracks or on trains, into intelligent sensors capable of sharing their operational data securely. The coined term, ‘Internet of Railway Things’ will open up a number of possibilities, such as predictive maintenance. This technological development will make it possible for rail operators to monitor equipment on-board as well as along the thousands of miles of track, in real time, to detect and remedy the first signs of malfunction before it fails. The cost savings associated with this are huge. Around the world, rail operators spend an average of $16 billion – $28 billion a year on maintenance and equipment renewal. If we can offer the industry savings of just 1%, that would represent a saving of $163 million – $272.2 million per year! What are the barriers to entry it faces here in the UAE and also in the wider MENA region? We don’t foresee any barriers to entry in the MENA region. The UAE in particular has a tradition of being early adopters of new technology. The advancements in IoT, connectivity, big data and artificial intelligence, will require significant investment – but all of this will be redundant if the cybersecurity threat is not addressed from the onset. Transportation stakeholders face possibly the biggest challenge in that regard, ensuring the network is protected around the clock against hackers or cyberterrorists, as well as passenger data in an increasingly connected and open world. These technologies exist today, and we expect over the coming years to begin to see wide adoption from the industry that will benefit public transportation users as well as the wider stakeholder community. | Smart Cities Report 2019



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Smart mobility

Why electric vehicles and new mobility services are driving the need for industrial edge data centres MIDDLE EAST

Paolo Colombo, Go To Market director for Machine Builder and System Integrators at Schneider Electric, discusses the trends driving manufacturers to invest in industrial edge data centres Smart Cities Report 2019 |


recently wrote about how a couple of trends in the automotive industry are driving the need for manufacturers to invest in industrial edge data centres. But an additional pair of trends promises to bring additional players into the equation, namely infrastructure providers, including local and state governments and utilities. The first trend is the electrification of cars, with the International Energy Agency predicting that about 125m

electric cars will be on the roads globally by 2030. The second is the trend towards automobiles-as-a-service, which is taking shape in a variety of forms. EVS REQUIRE ELECTRIC INFRASTRUCTURE – AND DATA The trend toward electric vehicle (EV) ownership is being spurred by policies that encourage drivers, fleets and municipalities to purchase cleanrunning cars, according to CNBC. It appears to be working. In 2017, the


125m predicted amount of electric cars in operation globally by 2030

IEA estimated 3.1m EVs were in use. If the 125m number holds up, that will represent a growth rate of more than 300% per year through 2030. Compounding the issue, these vehicles will increasingly be autonomous. That means we not only need a concerted effort to build the infrastructure to support vehicle charging, but also the wireless networks required to enable autonomous vehicles to assess their location and communicate with surrounding vehicles. I covered the sort of infrastructure required for autonomous vehicles in my previous post; it basically amounts to fast, reliable wireless networks, along with a series of edge data centres to process the data the cars generate and consume. Cities such as Hamburg in Germany are now constructing digital test beds, in part to lure automakers to test their autonomous vehicles. EVs require their own set of infrastructures, notably charging stations of various sorts, including quick-charge stations akin to traditional petrol stations, and long-term charging such as at office buildings. Beyond electricity, these stations are also likely to both consume and generate plenty of data. For starters, consider that truly autonomous EVs must also be able to recharge themselves, a point made by Alex Marcham and Matt Trifiro in a blog post on the State of the Edge website: “When faced with the choice of which charging station to use, [the vehicle] must be able to know which station is available, whether there is spare electrical capacity, whether the station is reserved, the cost of the fuel, and other data.” Additionally, as my colleague Christel Galbrun-Noel recently pointed out, in the near future EVs could be configured to participate in utility grid demand management plans. “For example, EV owners could buy electrical power when grid prices are low, and then sell their excess stored energy to the grid when prices are high – a concept that is referred to as vehicle-to-grid (V2G).” AUTOMOBILE-AS-A-SERVICE TAKES MANY FORMS All of these efforts will contribute

EV owners could buy electrical power when grid prices are low, and then sell their excess stored energy to the grid when prices are high – a concept that is referred to as vehicleto-grid (V2G)” to the need for edge data centres. The same goes for the trend towards automobile-as-a-service offerings. These are taking many forms, often with auto manufacturers playing a big role. Some are more financial in nature, such as the Toyota deal offering flexible leasing options to Uber drivers. But Toyota is also said to be working on an app to help Uber drivers and a line of Toyota and Lexus fleet vehicles specifically for Uber drivers. That deal came not long after GM announced it was investing $500m in Uber’s prime competitor, Lyft. GM also says it has plans to develop an on-demand network of self-driving cars with Lyft, Reuters reports. GM last year announced the launch of


a peer-to-peer rental programme through which GM owners can list their personal vehicles to rent, through a GM-owned car-sharing platform. In February, BMW and Daimler unveiled their own ride-hailing and mobility services platform designed to compete with the likes of Uber and Lyft. Their joint venture will also offer carpooling, parking, trip planning and charging services for electric cars in big cities, according to Deutsche Welle (DW). INDUSTRIAL EDGE HELPS KEEP DATA FLOWING All of these services require speedy connections to support the constant, real-time data transfers required to keep tabs on available cars and relay the information to users, typically via smartphone apps. Here again, it will require industrial edge data centres to process all that data without introducing the latency involved in sending it to a cloud-based data centre. Such data centres come in various shapes and sizes. Many will be micro data centres – small, self-enclosed facilities that can be installed just about anywhere, including outdoors. Others may be somewhat larger, perhaps acting as more of a regional data centre. The good news is there are modular, prefabricated data centre solutions that fit a variety of these needs, making it easy to roll out reliable data centre capacity quickly – to virtually anywhere. | Smart Cities Report 2019


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Smart technologies

Co-innovating to build smart cities MIDDLE EAST

Mohammed A. Retmi, head of Regional Domains for Indirect & Middle East & Africa – Orange Business Services, says developers and ICT partners should co-innovate to make projects smart and bankable Smart Cities Report 2019 |


ot all smart cities or developments are the same or as smart as they may want to be – there is an abundance of vision, imagination and ambition, but this is not always matched by the budget, which means difficult choices may have to be made, and more creative ways found to make smart cities really smart, integrated and bankable. When it comes to the question of which smart city services are essential, desirable, affordable and deliverable, the

project owner and the ICT adviser must consult on defining the agreed set of services that will deliver the vision – but they may not all be in place at the launch of the development and may depend on the financing available throughout the project lifecycle. The challenge is to avoid silos, and deliver an integrated approach and the customer experience. There is no doubt that real estate developers know all about building mixeduse facilities and managing districts and buildings, but they may not be as familiar with how to operate a smart development


Smart developments While developers understand building and managing districts and facilities, they aren’t as familiar with operating smart developments.

Virtual reality Orange Business Services’ IOT Cockpit city management solution enhances the city management services delivered in Abu Dhabi.

once it’s up and running, and how to deliver the resident and visitor experience. Whether it’s an industrial city, a healthcare facility or an education campus, developers may quickly realise they need to engage in a ‘think’ phase to collaborate with their ICT partner. The collaboration should combine their joint knowledge of building, ICT and operations, and focus on the purpose of the development. This is a vital phase in which the real estate project owners and ICT agree on the level of smartness to be integrated into the development, such as smart access to a building, smart parking or smart lighting. Naturally, property developers may be tempted to add some smart services to developments in order to add marketing value and push prices higher, creating a more desirable property to sell faster and retain value, while enhancing the customer experience. A developer may also want its ICT partner to create a suite of smart services to sell to it on an OPEX basis, and may choose to phase in the desired smart services over a period of time as more (or different) budget becomes available, depending on the financing model. All smart services do one (or more) of three things – improve customer experience, lower operating costs, generate revenue – and a business case should be made for each service to determine the return on investment. If developers do not know exactly what they want or what is feasible, this can create the opportunity to co-innovate, a process where the developer and ICT partner brainstorm and develop a prospective catalogue of smart services and even bespoke services. This process can lead to real innovation. One local example is the bespoke IOT Cockpit city management solution developed by Orange Business Services for Abu Dhabi Municipality (ADM), and which has now become part of the Orange smart city services catalogue. The virtualisation app enhances the city management services delivered in Abu Dhabi and provides visualisation via an immersive, interactive experience. Connected objects and tangible objects are virtualised, giving ADM the ability to see, interact with and manage the smart utilities network in the city, including water, electricity and fibre, as well as seeing what is happening on the

If developers do not know exactly what is feasible, this can create the opportunity to coinnovate, a process where the developer and ICT partner brainstorm and develop a prospective catalogue of smart services and even bespoke services”


ground at certain points of interest. For example, Cockpit enables ADM to monitor street lights and transport, providing better control over key elements in the urban landscape. The reality in the Middle East is that no particular smart service dominates at the moment – and this is not an issue, as smart cities must be more than the sum of their smart services. This synergy across the smart services that will be integrated into a project is part of the process of defining its bankability – its ability to attract financing. Major infrastructure projects need significant finance, and there is a move towards design-build-financeoperate-maintain or the PPP model, along with hybrid options, reflecting the potential 10-20-year lifecycle of the project partnership. Bankability and the demonstrable ability to deliver the project and services are critical elements in successfully raising project finance. This means that the selection of smart services to be integrated into the project (and how they are to be delivered – for example through exclusive concessions) also influences its bankability. Smart services may be a shop window for a development, but they also underlie the user experience and its bankability. So choose wisely (and consult your ICT partner). | Smart Cities Report 2019


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Smart transport

The next generation of transportation is mobility as a service MIDDLE EAST

Martin Tillman, director, Strategic Planning and Advisory, discusses how smart mobility services can shape our cities


or many cities, shared mobility as a service is emerging not only as a potential solution to improve transport services for their citizens, but also an opportunity to free up valuable urban space for more affordable housing and increase economic and social inclusion across communities. Living increasingly digitallyenabled lives, we are all getting used to accessing what we want at the touch of a button – from new clothes to groceries and take-out. Transportation is no exception. Following the rapid expansion of transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber, the app has become key to how millions of

people move around, challenging fixed transit systems and timetables. With their services launched in cities almost overnight, initial collaboration between TNCs, bike share companies and city governments has been limited. In response, city authorities have had to quickly develop policies and legislation to respond to and regulate these new transportation solutions and platforms. One issue is that these services can often add to cities’ transportation challenges, such as congestion and pollution.A more integrated approach. A potential solution to this and cities’ other transportation pressures is shared mobility as a service (MaaS). This approach brings together individual MaaS options, both public and private – such as trains, buses, ride hailing and sharing schemes for cars and bikes, taxis and shuttles/pods, for first- and lastmile connections to high-capacity, fixed-route service; or point-topoint service when fixed-route service doesn’t exist or is infrequent – using the latest digital innovations to offer an integrated point-topoint service to users via a single mobile app and payment channel. Shared MaaS approaches create the opportunity for consumers

Smart Cities Report 2019 |

to shift from an ownership and/ or single provider model of transport use, to paying for travel as a service. If done well, shared MaaS promotes more sustainable decision-making, enabling users to compare different transport modes on costs, emissions, flexibility and so on; and allowing cities to incentivise, support and encourage travel behaviours that promote the long-term success of their citizens and city. MaaS, when coupled with high-capacity, fixed-route, public transport services, could give cities the catalyst they need to deliver substantive reform, increasing the use of existing vehicles via share schemes and other incentives, and providing a costeffective and reliable alternative to car ownership and use. This could open up valuable real estate for redevelopment as mixed-use neighbourhoods, which offer affordable housing, flexible workspaces, parks and other shared community spaces. In addition, by increasing efficiency and optimising how we use public roads, promoting transport innovation and developing smart infrastructure, MaaS could help cities radically reduce their carbon footprint

and make roads safer. Finally, MaaS is a chance for private operators to grow their market share in a highly competitive industry, ensure the most efficient utilisation of resources, build improved community relations and benefit from a more collaborative relationship with city and transportation authorities. This includes establishing valuable data-sharing agreements between public and private transportation providers. A transportation revolution is underway. MaaS gives cities the opportunity to move more of their citizens to and from existing transportation systems more efficiently; provide pointto-point, multi-modal services accessible via a single system; and partner with private companies. To make this a reality, cities need a clear, strategic vision; more flexible, sustainable and holistic approaches to urban planning; a focus on smart infrastructure and sustainable, efficient and affordable solutions; and greater collaboration and trust with private sector providers. Crucially, they need to show the public that MaaS can work for them, making their city a better place to live, work and visit.

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Running faster, longer & leaner Not only is the Middle East a centre for transport and logistics activity, but it is also increasingly embedded into the international landscape of the two sectors in terms of adopting trends and best practices, as well as in the companies involved.

05 December 2019 Ghaya Grand Hotel Dubai, UAE Please scan here to register





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