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Saudi Arabia: Rapid urbanisation calls for smart cities

Smart cities might be the ideal way to control the rapid urbanisation taking place in Saudi Arabia. This is the solution  offered to the Arab Kingdom by the global energy management specialists Schneider Electric,  according the speech made by the company’ s country president Christophe Campagne in last week’ s Modern Makkah Summit and Awards ceremony. The two day summit was an opportunity for government officials, project developers, construction companies, architects and contractors to meet and discuss investment opportunities to help develop the city of Makkah (Mecca), as well as other cities in Saudi Arabia. It is estimated that the province of Makkah alone provides a huge number of opportunities for investment and development.

With urbanisation increasing rapidly all over the world, cities consume an estimated 75 percent of global energy, and are home to 50 percent of the earth’ s population. By 2050, the percentage of the planet’ s population living in cities is going to rise to an estimated 70 percent, and the cities’ energy needs will likewise increase. In this environment, governments and municipalities are looking for solutions that ensure efficiency, sustainability and affordability.

Saudi Arabia, showing high rates of economic development and urbanisation, is no exception to this trend. Schneider Electic has plans for various development projects across the kingdom, starting with Makkah and its surrounding area. According to M. Campagne:

Such projects would save 30 percent in the construction and utilities industry by offering unified solutions to help improve infrastructure for cities worldwide. These solutions range from mature cities in developed countries to hyper-growth destinations in emerging regions.

Our innovative SmartCity can help realize energy savings of up to 30 percent. Solutions for SmartCity include Smart Grid for managing demand in electricity, Smart Water for managing water hazards and growing water demand and Smart Building and Homes, optimizing resource consumption and comfort through green buildings for hospitals as well as residential and commercial centers.

This summit provides a stage to introduce concepts of integrated solutions. These will make cities efficient, livable and sustainable. We present smart solutions for smart cities.  We are confident that our solutions will increase efficiency at all levels throughout the Kingdom and improve the quality of life for the residents and pilgrims of Makkah.

The entire article is available here.