Smart cities ‘set to change lifestyles’ in Bahrain.
Bahrain is moving towards the creation of ‘smart cities’ that will revolutionise the way people live their lives, according to a senior official.
EGovernment Authority chief executive Mohammed Ali Al Qaed revealed thought was going into how technology can be used in transport, utilities, healthcare, retail and homes to improve life experience, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
He told the GDN the country had already adopted ‘smart city’ protocols as he appeared at the Bahrain International eGovernment Forum 2015 yesterday.
“That’s why the theme of the event this year is Smart Cities – Beyond Innovation,” he said on the sidelines of the opening session of the eighth edition of the forum at Isa Cultural Centre.
Held under the patronage of Deputy Prime Minister and Supreme Committee for Information and Communication Technology chairman, Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, the five-day event brings together the brightest minds and latest solutions in eGovernment, with a particular focus on the private sector.
Al Qaed said the concept of smart cities was complex and needed to incorporate several different sectors.
“It will require co-ordinated efforts of multiple ministries including housing, transportation, works, telecommunication and energy to name just a few,” he explained.
He added there would be need for policy updates, smart city development plans, deployments of smart city protocols, localisation of operating platforms and smart technologies for transport, utilities, healthcare and retail sectors.
“We need to determine where and how houses will be built, how people will commute, will they be close to where they live, what kind of quality of life they will have, will they have access to all the information they require,” Al Qaed said.
“What we are clear about is that thorough assessments need to be done and a detailed plan of action has to be put in place before we start investing money… Bahrain has limited resources and we can’t afford to spend millions like other countries are doing and end up just with WiFi access everywhere.
“Smart means you have to be smart in spending as well.”
Al Qaed hopes Bahrain will develop its understanding of the concept during the five-day event, which features talks by experts such as American University of Fairland’s Dr John Burton and French Professor Claude Rojetto.
A 30-member delegation from the European Union is attending, as well as experts from the GCC. –TradeArabia News Service