The Smart City Revolution: Transforming communities in Abu Dhabi and beyond

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Lisa Brown, Senior National Director, Smart Cities & Municipalities, Johnson Controls, Building Solutions North AmericaBy Lisa Brown, National Senior Director, Strategy, Local Government & Municipal Infrastructure, Johnson Controls, Building Solutions North America
Smart cities have the potential to transform the day-to-day experiences of citizens and improve their quality of life. But how can city leaders make this happen? It starts with these five factors, which have the potential to create new opportunities and a better overall community:

  • Vision – There must be a clearly mapped vision for any smart city that is innovative, future-ready and data-driven.
  • Ecosystem – The right stakeholders must be involved to focus the project on their desired outcomes, whether that is improved safety or long-term sustainability.
  • Governance – Every department must work as one towards common goals. This means there must be a clear flow of information between leaders and departments.
  • Technology enablers – Smart cities are built through intelligent integrations between technologies, systems and equipment.
  • Funding – Calling a smart city an investment is an understatement. No smart city can exist without the proper funding, whether through federal governments or through private entities.
Digital transformation and the rise of smart communities are closely linked and together they can create a revolution.

Abu Dhabi is one of those unique examples of a city that is primed to achieve the coveted title of “Smart City.” While at the Abu Dhabi Smart City Summit as a keynote speaker and panelist, it was clear that the local government there has the infrastructure, capital and vision to take advantage of this opportunity. What really stood out to me was the value they place on sustainability; no smart city can exist if it does not leverage efficient and renewable solutions for long-term sustainability. Abu Dhabi is strategically focused on environmentally friendly technologies and governance, and it will likely enable them to be trailblazers in the industry.

Digital transformation and the rise of smart communities are closely linked and together they can create a revolution. When government leaders are focused on vision, ecosystem, governance, technology enablers and funding, they can become future-ready and transform businesses and the lives of citizens.

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