Emerging Trends | SDG11 | Smart Cities
December 22, 2016

A world first! Smart Dubai’s lessons for cities around the world

Dubai has an ambitious goal: to be the happiest city on Earth through technology innovation.

Led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai was the first city in the world to assess the efficiency and sustainability of its operations using ITU’s Key Performance Indicators for Smart Sustainable Cities.

The pilot project evaluated the feasibility of the indicators with the aim of contributing to their international standardization. The results of this experience were reported in the newly released Smart Dubai case study.

Smart Dubai – leading by example

Collaborating with private sector and government partners, Smart Dubai is the government office charged with facilitating Dubai’s citywide smart transformation, to empower, deliver and promote an efficient, seamless, safe and impactful city experience for residents and visitors.

The case study charts the Smart Dubai journey from its initial planning stages through to the current status of related ICT applications, highlighting lessons learned along the way.

“The lessons learned in Dubai’s efforts to evolve into a smart sustainable city will be of great value to other cities because they encourage local smart-city innovation,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.

The overarching benefits of the evaluation are to share best practices, assist Dubai in refining its smart-city strategy, as well as support ITU’s work to identify elements of the KPIs for review.

Noora Al Suwaidi, Head of Strategy & Policy, Smart Dubai Office and Advisory Board member of the ‘United 4 Smart Sustainable Cities’ initiative (U4SSC) said, “The results of this case study will be a valuable tool to assist emerging smart cities in their journeys by deriving best practices based on Dubai’s accomplishments to date.”

Cities around the world have also joined ITU’s KPI pilot project, including Singapore, Manizales (Colombia), Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Valencia, Santiago de Chile, Rimini (Italy) and Wuxi (China). Data and insights generated through the pilot project will help ITU further refine the KPIs.

“Our partnership with ITU has been a central programme of the Smart Dubai initiative. As the world’s first city to implement ITU’s KPIs for Smart Sustainable Cities, we are in a strong position to contribute to the development of a global smart city index,”Aisha bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office said. “[I] look forward to the impact that our continuing partnership with ITU will achieve for Dubai and the world.”

Looking forward, the case study has far reaching implications for global sustainable development.

“The next phase of our collaboration will aim to ensure that the KPIs offer valuable assistance in measuring our progress towards the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” said Chaesub Lee, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.

The Smart Dubai case study can be downloaded free of charge here. More information on the pilot project launch can be found here, and information on the results of the case study can be found here.

More about the U4SSCU4SSC is supported by 16 United Nations agencies and programmes and is open to the participation of all stakeholders interested in driving smart-city innovation. Smart Dubai is co-chairing one of the three working groups of the U4SSC initiative in addition to being a member of its Advisory Board.

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ITU is the United Nations' specialized agency for information and communication technology. Any opinions expressed and statistics presented by third parties do not necessarily reflect the views of ITU.

A world first! Smart Dubai’s lessons for cities around the world

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