The Smart & Sustainable Cities Platform was officially launched in a ceremony held at Seoul Plaza Hotel in downtown Seoul on May 23 in the presence of UAE Ambassador to Korea Abdullah Saif Ali Al Nuaimi,, Ahmad Buti Al Muhairbi, Board Member of the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO), Frank Rijsberman, Director-General, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and Dr Daeyeon Cho, Executive Director of Smart City Board, KAIA.
The global platform, a brainchild of the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO) launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in October 2016, is now also being supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Korea Agency?for Infrastructure Technology Advancement (KAIA) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).
“We are pleased to announce the launch of the Smart & Sustainable Cities Platform, which will serve as a global forum to share and exchange information about issues faced by developers of sustainable cities around the world in sustainable practices, relations and business models with anchored solutions. The new platform is a knowledge sharing podium that will provide access to cutting-edge tools and promote an integrated approach to sustainable urban planning and financing,” said HE Ahmad Buti Al Muhairbi.
WGEO is founded on seven platforms - countries, smart & sustainable cities sector, private sector, academia sector, organisations and civil society, youth sector and financial sector.
Last February, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, launched the Private Sector platform, the first to be launched. Since then, the WGEO has launched platforms for Youth, Academia, and the Organisations & Civil Society. In the coming period, WGEO will also launch the platforms for the financial sectors and countries. These platforms reflect the enormous efforts in the UAE to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 and the Paris Climate Agreement to support global efforts to mitigate climate change and find innovative solutions to challenges related to sustainable energy, water and the environment in general.
“The world is urbanising at a swift pace. Already more than half of the global population lives in cities, and this number is expected to increase rapidly. While many cities around the world already claim to be smart and sustainable, research indicates that they are still far from it.?With global urban population projected to reach 5 billion by 2030, the need for sustainable cities is much stronger. As such, a lot of countries across the world are working towards an environmentally, socially and economically healthy and resilient habitat for existing and future populations through the creation of sustainable cities. In an endeavour to make cities self- resilient and sustainable WGEO’s new platform will support committed leaders and accelerate their actions through development of reliable tools,” added HE Ahmad Buti Al Muhairbi.
“Smart cities represent the next stage of urban evolution, containing the infrastructure and broadband connectivity to manage and deliver public services. Smart cities will sustainably meet the needs of present and future generations. As such, launching this new platform comes as part of WGEO’s efforts to offer interested parties and sustainability professionals with timely, vetted, and practical resources to identify and implement solutions to advance their goals and strengthen their sustainable communities,” said HE Ahmad Buti Al Muhairbi.
The Smart & Sustainable Cities Platform will be a treasure-trove of robust collection of city profiles, case studies, model policies and communication tools that will provide engaged stakeholders with a set of resources to guide and catalyse action for a green economy. The Platform will also help design future scenarios and innovations for products, services and business models, for companies and sectors.
“The WGEO is working to drive the sustainable evolution, by promoting the advantages of low-carbon transport systems and making the most effective use of Big Data to design climate-change-resilient urban environments. In the increasingly-urbanised world we live in today, innovative technologies are essential in addressing our living requirements and basic needs while ensuring that the goods we produce have a low-carbon footprint,” said HE Ahmad Buti Al Muhairbi.
Based on its Smart & Sustainable Cities Platform, WGEO will facilitate projects to analyse, monitor and optimise urban systems to efficiently use energy and water, build social and economic cohesion and governance, and get people to become more involved in their smart cities
“Launching this new platform not only reflects our diligent efforts to support a green economy, but reinforces WGEO’s pioneering position in ensuring a sustainable future for all. If planned and managed well, the sustainable cities can drive development, growth and the creation of jobs, while also contributing to a healthier, better quality of life for residents and the long-term protection of the global environment. As such, our objective through this platform is to facilitate workshops, dialogue and design and bring to focus a broad range of tools, using collaborative methodologies with multi-stakeholder groups, always focused on delivering green solutions,” added HE Ahmad Buti Al Muhairbi.
The new Smart & Sustainable Cities Platform is designed to provide information on the day-to-day management of sustainable cities, including improving access to clean water, energy and transport, as well as efforts to mitigate climate change.? It will support cities in pursuing evidence-based approaches to urban planning, including geospatial data and establishing urban sustainability indicators. The platform also aims to help projects become successes, by always focusing on delivering green solutions.
“We are committed to developing a green economy, and the Smart & Sustainable Cities Platform will identify funding for long-term, high-impact projects for both people and the planet. This includes opportunities such as Public-Private Partnerships and developing future scenarios and innovative business models based on them to build solutions for sustainable cities. Solutions, such as waste management, intelligent infrastructure, carbon measurement and planning, green energy and ultra-efficient transport that can be shared and implemented around the world,” added HE Ahmad Buti Al Muhairbi.
“Most importantly, the Smart & Sustainable Cities Platform recognises that people are at the centre of sustainable development and that our goal is for a world that is just, equitable and inclusive. We are committed to work together to promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development and environmental protection and thereby benefit all. I trust that today’s launch will unite our efforts to find the best solutions to face the global challenges and to sustain our resources to preserve our planet,” concluded HE Ahmad Buti Al Muhairbi.
At the end of the launch, representatives of the newly launched platform are invited on stage to demonstrate their commitment and pledge their support to carry the responsibility to achieve sustainability and to combat climate change.