Urbanization is creating unique problems for cities worldwide. However, many of the difficulties faced by cities in the Gulf in the Middle East are different than those of European cities with 400‑year old histories as urban centers. In cities like Dubai in Saudi Arabia, rapid development and urbanization is generating heightened awareness of the energy challenges ahead, more so than in cities where natural resources such as water are more readily available. This sense of urgency was evident throughout the ‘Power at the Cloud’ event in Dubai, where interest in smart technology, the systems that power the smart cities of the future, filled the air.
As more people move into large cities, what is the best way to address the problems of urbanization, especially in relation to congestion and mobility?
Convergence of IT
Mobile technology has simplified access to the Internet and personalized, real-time data, transforming the way people manage their time and how organizations run their operations. This convergence of Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) allows cities to more quickly find energy savings and boost operational efficiency.
“The technology we use day by day is also deployed in data centres, in buildings, and it gives us great opportunity to see what’s going on, act, and really start to make changes for a more sustainable, more efficient future,” said Jo Hart, senior vice president of Corporate Marketing at Schneider Electric™.
The combination of cleaner generation, greater efficiency, and a smarter grid gives growing cities in emerging regions of the world one of the best opportunities to meet the energy needs of tomorrow. “It is important to really begin to optimize the systems and the processes behind the smart technology so that we don’t cook the planet, and most importantly, we don’t get to a position where we’re overconsuming when we don’t really need to,” said Jo Hart.