Smart Cities Council Hosts Smart Cities Readiness Workshop with the Dubai Real Estate Institute

Mon, 2015-04-27 06:00 -- SCC Staff

The Smart Cities Council today will roll out a roadmap for smart cities at a Smart Cities Readiness Workshop in collaboration with the Dubai Real Estate Institute and Bechtel.

Urbanisation is a key driver towards smarter cities.  By 2050, over 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas.  Dubai has embraced plans to become one of the smartest cities on the planet.  The Smart Dubai project is aimed at embracing innovation to make Dubai one of the best connected cities in the world.

Studies show that smart cities use up to 40% less water and 30% less energy while delivering greater efficiencies at reduced costs. Reports also show that we are becoming smart citizens. Mobile phone users are demanding more services and information such as traffic volumes or energy use data and in this way are helping cities to grow smarter.  The GCC is well positioned to maximize on its young, highly educated and well-connected population to drive the transformation to smart cities. With over 70% of the region’s population under the age of 34, studies show a sizeable increase in mobile government services in the Middle East region, which today represents 24% of the global m-gov services, and the GCC countries taking centre stage representing over 85% of the region’s m-gov services.

Governments are clearly integrating smart services across some of their infrastructures, including transport, building technology and government services. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, called on all government entities to deliver their services to the public through mobile phones and devices, setting the stage for the transformation to m-Government as part of a more comprehensive drive towards smarter cities.

“Dubai is at the forefront of the smart city evolution that is transforming the way in which we live and work in cities,” said Jesse Berst, Chairman of Smart Cities Council.  “By harnessing technology to implement smart systems across the city infrastructure, Dubai is well positioned to be one of the smartest cities on the planet.”

Jim Denton-Brown, a workshop speaker and Manager of Planning and Smart Cities at Bechtel, said: “Amidst the growing challenges of urbanisation, shifting demographics and rapid technology changes, cities are recognizing the need to adopt a more holistic, long-term approach to planning.  Smart cities such as Dubai are moving from incremental updates to a system-wide approach to infrastructure investment, whilst embracing the power of new technologies to achieve their long-term ambitions.”

Today’s workshop offers an interactive and practical session focused on implementing a roadmap to becoming a smarter city. Participants include international experts in planning, infrastructure, finance and technology. The workshop follows the framework of the Smart Cities Council Readiness Guide, a practical roadmap addressing city infrastructure growth strategies. The roadmap starts with an assessment of a city’s unique issues and characteristics.  It moves onto technology plans, mapping out each element relevant to the implementation of improvements in transport, water and other infrastructure systems.  It concludes with the identification of milestones to mark progress and key performance metrics for cities to measure success.  The Readiness Guide can be accessed here:

About Bechtel

Bechtel is among the most respected engineering, project management, and construction companies in the world. We stand apart for our ability to get the job done right—no matter how big, how complex, or how remote. Bechtel operates through four global business units that specialize in infrastructure; mining and metals; nuclear, security and environmental; and oil, gas, and chemicals. Since its founding in 1898, Bechtel has worked on more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents. Today, our 53,000 colleagues team with customers, partners, and suppliers on diverse projects in nearly 40 countries.

Bechtel is a lead partner of the Smart Cities Council (SCC). 

About the Smart Cities Council

The Smart Cities Council is the trusted advisor to equip cities with tools and knowledge to cope with expanding populations, shrinking budgets and aging infrastructure. It is comprised of the world's foremost smart city practitioners advised by unbiased, independent experts, including top universities, national laboratories, standards bodies, climate advocacy groups and development banks. The Council’s goal is to accelerate the growth of smart cities worldwide by providing city leaders with best practices and vendor-neutral guidance on technology, finance, policy and, citizen engagement. For more information, visit