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Monday, 11.12.2023
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Stakeholders in the built environment have urged professionals to embrace the concept of smart cities that would focus on using technology and data to improve public services, as well as quality of life for the residents.

The architects and planners, who spoke at the Archibuilt Exposition in Abuja, said the use of artificial intelligence and technology, innovative devices and knowledge-based economy would promote affordable housing.

Speaking at the Archibuilt forum, President, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Enyi Ben-Eboh, explained that modern cities ensure cooperative effort between citizens and businesses, as well as the use of information technology to improve living and working conditions.

Ben-Eboh said: “This year’s event will feature a number of innovations. We have introduced an innovation hub to enable stakeholders to get a feel of new developments in the industry, especially in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) revolution.”

He said the world is experiencing urbanisation in its social, cultural and economic spheres, leading to increased population and spatial expansion of cities due to activities that take place in the ecosystem.

Also, a town planner, Olufemi Oloruntola, in his paper “Smart Cities and Digital Transformation,” stated that such cities are planned, designed and developed in relation to how the inhabitants of such cities interact with the built environment.

He argued, cities evolved from farmstead/hamlet to village, then to a small town, onto a town and then a city, adding that largely independent cities, hitherto operated as self-contained units are increasingly becoming interconnected and fused to form megacities.

Oloruntola said population influx, development of shared infrastructure and emergence of new technologies have exacerbated the already significant pressure on infrastructure in urban centres.

“The world is now a global village where all local societies are increasingly interconnected. Contemporary living has opened up new vistas for trans-national and trans-continental exchanges and interactions,” he emphasised.

In his submission, President, Sierra Leone Institute of Architects, Manilius Garber, said the urban economy needs to improve in terms of transportation, as ICT have led to shorter distance in geographic locations.

Garber said: “To solve the associated complex and systemic challenges, cities must evolve smart competencies to enable them compete favorably at all levels.”

He, therefore, maintained that smart city projects need to be a long-term vision, defined around citizens’ needs, managed through smart governance, based on open and scalable systems and promote a culture of innovation, openness and transparency.

Contributing, NIA First Vice President, Mobolaji Adeniyi, said this year’s forum is focused on youth development, which will involve showcasing designs by student start-ups, young architects and public interactions through building maintenance clinics.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Cornelius Essen

Quelle/Source: The Guardian, 21.08.2023

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