January 2016

Smart Dubai addresses Global Sustainable Cities Network

Members of the Global Sustainable Cities Network gathered in Abu Dhabi during the World Future Energy Summit, to review trends in global efforts implement sustainable strategies, and discuss opportunities for collaboration with emerging economies to ensure new cities grow, and grow sustainably, according to global pest practices.

Addressing the Network, Her Excellency Dr. Aisha bin Bishr shared lessons learned from Smart Dubai’s landmark approach to a smart city transformation, aligning multi-agency collaboration for people’s happiness. Sustainability is at the core of Smart Dubai’s strategy, and Her Excellency argues that collaboration for a sustainable city must be understood as fundamental to promoting people’s happiness.

Read the full text of Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bin Bishr’s address, on Cities Most Valuable Resource — People’s Happiness below:

Cities Most Valuable Resource — People’s Happiness

Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is my honour to join you this morning for this important workshop for the advancement of the Global Sustainable Cities Network.

We are here today because together we acknowledge that the future of cities lies in smart, sustainable communities where all residents and visitors enjoy unmatched access to opportunity and quality of life.

When Smart Dubai accepted the ambitious mandate of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, to make Dubai the happiest city on earth, we recognised that a smart environment will be fundamental to achieving our vision.

Since 2014, the Smart Dubai Office, in alignment with Dubai Plan 2021 and Expo 2020, has been collaborating across sectors to promote a smart, integrated and connected city — where our natural resources are sustainably managed and a clean, healthy and safe environment is secured for all residents and visitors.

Our shared environment shapes our city experiences: From a father playing with his children in the park, to a business woman arriving for a meeting, to an architect inspecting a new building site, safe, clean and well-cared for environments contribute to happiness in our daily life.

We believe that a sustainable environment is essential to promoting our city’s most valuable resource — people’s happiness.

It is not possible to achieve our sustainability goals by working in silos. Across the city, our Strategic Partners are already delivering sustainable solutions, including:

Unified district-level control centres operated by DEWA, managing load distribution based on the community’s energy needs, minimising the risk of black-outs when people need energy most: from the heat of summer, to a neighbourhood wedding reception.

Smart Shams the first citywide solar power initiative, managed by DEWA, encouraging reduced environmental impact and cost savings for families and businesses.

And a Virtual Reference System for the Emirate of Dubai, from Dubai Municipality, enabling city planners and scientists to track and map air, water and land metrics for a range of applications from emergency response to long-term environmental impact studies.

Within the next four years, we will launch 100 smart initiatives and 1000 smart services contributing to a more efficient, seamless, safe and impactful city experience: from smart utility meters, to low-emission public transportation, to developing methane gas trapped in landfills into a viable alternative energy source.

We do not undertake this effort for ourselves only, but also with the goal that Dubai will become a global benchmark for smart transformation, and a leader in sustainable city initiatives, for the emerging world.

As part of our ongoing commitment to leadership, we are working closely with the International Telecommunications Union to develop the first global metric for smart cities, describing indicators across all city dimensions, including the smart environment, to guide future smart cities through their own transformation.

The smart city index will become a global roadmap for smart cities, providing a clear path to transformation that is founded in best practice from Dubai and our international peers.

Smart Dubai is pioneering a collaborative approach to smart city transformation, partnering with government entities, district developers, the private sector, entrepreneurs and international bodies to achieve our smart city mandate.

Smart Dubai demonstrates that transformational change is possible when traditional barriers are broken down and entities work together across sector and industry lines.

Sustainability is not a luxury item for the developed world: it can be the cornerstone of growth for emerging markets. When the environment is clean and energy resources are well-managed, we know that people are happier and populations are more productive.

I urge you to learn from the example we are setting: that collaboration is an essential ingredient to success. And that, when we work together, like we will today, we can accomplish the impossible.

As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed tells us, we must work together as a single team to build the future of the UAE.

Thank you.