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INFRASTUCTURE Asset optimisation


How to save €300bn a year


Does your city’s transport infrastructure need upgrading? Are you looking to grow your city’s economy and create new transport- related jobs? Hussein Dia might just be the man to help…


A


s part of an increasingly connected and intercon- nected world, our cities are playing an equally increasingly active role in the global economy.


According to the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), just 100 cities currently account for 30 per cent of the world’s economy. New York City and London, together, represent 40 per cent of the global market capitalisation. In 2025, 600 cit- ies are projected to generate 58 per cent of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and accommodate 25 per cent of the world’s population. The MGI also expects that 136 new cities, driven by faster growth in GDP per capita, will make it into the top 600 by 2025, all from the developing world, 100 of them from China alone. The 21st century appears more likely to be dominated by


these global cities that will become the magnets of economy and engines of globalisation.


THE CHALLENGES Whilst this urban growth will be largely driven by economic development and the search for a better quality of life, the resulting success will dramatically change the scale and nature of our communities, and put a tremendous strain on the infrastructure that delivers vital services like trans- port, electricity, water and communications. Today, more than half the world’s population lives in towns and cities and the percentage is growing. By 2050, 70 per cent of the world is expected to live in cities and urban areas. Already, ageing infrastructures in many cities around the world are at a breaking point with governments’ budgets for major infra- structure projects under increasing pressure. Take for example the reform of urban mobility that


remains one of the biggest challenges confronting policy makers around the globe. According to the United Nations , it is estimated that 1.3m people are killed on the world’s roads each year. If left unchecked, this number could reach 1.9m fatalities worldwide by 2020. The human cost is profound – unimaginable suffering and grief. The economic cost is also a staggering US$100billion a year in developing coun- tries alone . The World Health Organisation has described road casualty figures as being of ‘epidemic’ proportions, with


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road-related trauma being the biggest single killer of those aged between 15 and 29. It has also been estimated that the social, economic and environ- mental costs of avoidable congestion account for more than 1 per cent of the GDP across the European Union , and currently cost the United States more than US$115billion each year . In addition, road traffic continues to account for around 80 per cent of transport CO2


emissions and is


expected to reach 9,000 Megaton per year by 2030 if the cur- rent mobility trends are not curbed


THE OPPORTUNITIES Decision makers and leaders who run our complex cities are increasingly recognising the role of smart technologies in improving the efficiency of existing infrastructure and sweating of assets through better utilisation of available infrastructure. These systems can significantly improve operations, reliability, safety, and meet consumer demand for better services with relatively small levels of investment. Cities are essentially made up of a complex net-


work of systems that are increasingly being instru- mented and interconnected, providing an opportunity for better infrastructure management. An “Internet of Things,” comprising sensors, monitors, video surveillance and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, all communi- cating with each other to enhance infrastructure capability and resilience, and capturing volumes of data. Through data mining, artificial intelligence and predictive ana- lytics tools, smart infrastructure systems can help city managers to monitor the performance of vital infra- structure, identify key areas where city services are lagging, and inform decision makers on how to manage city growth and make our cities more liveable.


NEW PARADIGM: TECHNOLOGY- DRIVEN URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE Smart cities of the future will include advanced network operations management and control systems that utilise field sensors to detect and respond quickly to equipment and


thinkinghighways.com Vol 8 No 3 Europe/Rest of the World


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