November 2017

2017 Forum on Future Cities to explore city preparedness for the 4th Industrial Revolution

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, convenience and happy. We are proud that likeminded organizations from around the world chosen 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.”