Govts to lead development of smarter cities

Johannesburg - Smart city construction is dependent heavily on the attitudes of governments around the world for its adoption. 

This is according to Edwin Diender, the Vice President of the Government & Public Utility Sector of the Huawei Enterprise Business Group and expert on smart cities.

“In my experience and dealing with South African government, it is clear that there is a good understanding of the benefits of a smart city. Governments do no just see smart cities as a project but rather as a platform toward a more digital and connected society,” Diender said. 

One of South Africa’s first smart city developments in Modderfontein, worth over R80bn has since been dogged by delays and downgraded from initial plans. 

Diender said that one of the reasons development of such cities was not as rapid was because new technologies were being blocked by legacy systems. 

“At present government see smart cities as a ‘nice to have but not a need’. However, the benefits of smart cities are clear,” he said. 

Smart solutions at present can be implemented by governments around the world, for example, Diender said that a smart water solution could be implemented to prevent water shortages, currently being experienced in Cape Town or predict them more easily. 

Huawei, recently participated in the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) in Barcelona, where the company launched its Smart City Nervous System to highlight how a Smart City can be like a living organism that works seamlessly to continuously learn and enhance the city’s services. 

Alongside the SCEWC, Huawei hosted the Global Smart City Summit, where representatives
from the European Union, international standards organisations, world-renowned consultancies, relevant research institutions and leading Smart Cities shared their insights and experiences in driving Smart City development with over 400 city administrators from around the world.

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