How the smart city will change the way Africa lives: iLIVE
Imagine waking up in a house that practically runs itself, a low-carbon city where traffic congestion is almost non-existent, neighbourhoods are safer, and you can just use a single card or tag to do almost everything from buying groceries to paying your bus fare. Sounds too far fetched for Africa? It’s actually not. Matebello Motloung looks at how smart cities will change how Africa lives in the next five years.
1. Intelligent Transport Systems
A HIGHLY EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE TRANSPORT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IS A KEY COMPONENT OF A SMART CITY. Building new roads and lanes to deal with rising traffic volumes and traffic congestion is not enough anymore. Cars are getting more intelligent and therefore the roads have to follow suit. And they are. Globally, countries are building intelligence into the roads and the cars - with roadside sensors, radio frequency tags, and global positioning systems. South Africa is on par.
2. Smart Government
IN MANY WAYS, SOUTH AFRICA HAS BEEN AHEAD OF THE GAME in trying to create a smart government through the implementation of the e-Government strategy, which was meant to improve its interaction with its citizens and enable them to access services and information by a mere click of a button from a single portal. This would have been convenient, lessened the need for hard copy forms, eliminated the necessity for physical travel to government departments, and hopefully improved record keeping through computerisation.
3. Smarter Buildings
THE NUMBER OF GREEN BUILDINGS IN SOUTH AFRICA, many of them commercial, is on the increase, says the Green Building Council of South Africa. According to the 2010 National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Survey, 88 percent of home buyers looked for houses that had energy efficient characteristics like central heating and cooling systems when purchasing homes, 71 percent highlighted the desire for energy efficient appliances, and 69 percent wanted energy efficient lighting. Propelling this change in lifestyle is newly introduced energy efficiency building regulations that now make it compulsory for the construction industry to adopt environmentally considerate methods.
Smart Cities Summit to be held on July 10 - 12 2012, will include topics for discussion:
Buildings: Aesthetically pleasing as well as functional and environmentally-friendly, retrofitting, building, regeneration, housing, civic and recreational buildings
Energy: Smart grids, alternative energy sources (what’s available, what works best in the South African context and gives the best ROI)
Mobility and Transport: Harbours, airports, rail, road, logistics, the creation and introduction of smart cars, public transport, supply chain, cycle paths, pedestrian access and total smart traffic management.
Health and Safety: Hospitals, clinics, access to medical resources and specialists (including HIV/Aids and TB), disaster management, mining, construction, health and safety education campaigns.
TIMESLIVE ASKS: What changes do you think Africa needs, to make this a smart continent to live in....?