Spotlight: Artificially Intelligent Smart Cities

Most of the scientific and technological signs of progress are moving around Artificial Intelligence (AI), which has become an in-thing for everything.
Its application has been found hugely beneficial across the sectors, including governance, business, social development, environment and even development of smart cities.
Smart cities are the best examples of the task that Artificial Intelligence is doing for city planners. New approaches and methods need to be incorporated in urban planning and development. The planning needs to embody environmental, economic, and social principles for an integrated urban system based on data, statistics, partnership, and digital and technical knowledge.
Urban planners are depending on Artificial Intelligence to make a city digitally smart based on data. The AI helps the city planners to understand a city’s requirements and plan the facilities.
The AI suggests with shreds of evidence the implications of too much carbon emission into the environment. It gears up the policymakers to draw policies for green buildings or energy-neutral buildings and the right codes for smart green buildings.
There has been a call from experts to develop digitally smart cities to get the maximum out of Artificial Intelligence, which can improve people’s quality of life-based on actual data.
Smart cities are not only externally smart. They are smart due to their comprehensiveness and capabilities of technology and adaptability which is derived from a strong database.
Shafiq Jiwani, an expert in city planning, called for concerted planning involving all the stakeholders to come out with a sustainable city that caters to the needs of the inhabitants.
Commenting on the reality of smart cities, Jiwani said, “This project is active in many different countries, especially in the first world countries. There is a strong drive in the GCC countries towards making the cities smart,” he said.
He appreciated Oman’s drive and ambition to work together for the benefit of all. He, however, called for greater cooperation between the governments and organisations to achieve the larger goals of smart cities.
He cited examples of some municipalities, transport systems, cluster creative authority, telecom and water, and electricity departments of the region which were working in tandem with the principles of the smart city.
“I see the very similar drive in Oman. The government wants to do this as it has all the foundations ready. The basic foundation is data. Organisations like the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), Oman National Survey Authority (NSA), Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning, and the municipalities, have got very good GIS data and have a very good foundation to be able to implement a smart city,” he said.
Commenting on a time frame for developing a city as a smart city, Jiwani said: There is no real timeframe in the sense that there is so much that needs to be done. But things are getting a very good start here. “You can see the benefits within six to 12 months… this is a living thing that on for long, for years to come but a city becomes smart very quickly.