8 reasons for Casablanca to become a smart city
I was born and raised in Casablanca a port city and commercial hub in western Morocco, fronting the Atlantic Ocean. The city’s French colonial legacy and its downtown Mauresque architecture foster the charms of a blend of Moorish style and European art deco. However, the economic and population growth of the city during the last decades led to a huge livability, sustainability and workability challenges.
I was involved recently in the process of specifying and integrating several Information and Communication Technologies with Internet-of-Things in order to manage the assets of Casablanca and improve the quality of life of my hometown.
Being fully involved in this process I felt the need to share my thoughts and insight about why we need Smart city capabilities in ou beloved city. Thank to the Smart Cities Consul, here are 8 raisons for Casablanca to become a Smart City
Why we need Casablanca as A smart City
1. Growing urbanisation.
Casablanca provide and deliver many opportunities for its inhabitants, a greater employment opportunities, a greater access to healthcare and education, and a greater access to entertainment, culture and the arts. As a result, people are moving from rural environments to Casablanca at an unprecedented rate.
2. Growing stress.
Casablanca has an increasing populations, a new environmental and regulatory requirements, a relatively decreasing tax bases and budgets and increased costs. At the same time the city is experiencing difficult growing pains ranging from pollution, crowding and sprawl to inadequate housing, high unemployment and rising crime rates.
3. Inadequate infrastructure.
The Urbanization of Casablanca is putting significant strain on the city infrastructures that were, built for populations a fraction of their current size. The city has infrastructure that is near or past its design life, requiring massive upgrades.
4 .Growing economic competition.
The world has seen a rapid rise in competition between cities to secure the investments, jobs, businesses and talent for economic success. Increasingly, both businesses and individuals evaluate a city’s “technology quotient” in deciding where to locate. A real challenge for Casablanca is creating job opportunities that appeal to recent university graduates so they will stay and help build the kind of high-quality workforce that new industries
5. Growing expectations.
Casablanca’s citizens are increasingly getting instant, anywhere, anytime, personalized access to information and services via mobile devices and computers. And they increasingly expect that same kind of access to city services. Casablanca’s People want to live in a city that can provide efficient transportation, high bandwidth communications and a healthy job markets.
6. Growing environmental challenges.
Morocco has adopted in its development strategy the concept of sustainable development that promotes the balance between environmental, economic and social dimensions, with the objectives of improving the living environment of citizens, strengthening the sustainable management of natural resources and the promotion of environmentally friendly economic activities. If we are going to mitigate climate change in Morocco , it will have to happen in Casablanca its biggest city. Theses goals cannot be reached without the help of smart technologies. Smart cities are better able to address resiliency and adaptation to climate change
7. Rapidly improving Technology capabilities.
The capability of collecting, communicating and analysing city data is already enabled through a set of new technologies. Much of the needed technology is already in place:
- Smart meters and smart sensors for Power Grid and water networks can produce data of value,
- Smart thermostats and building management systems,
- The reduced costs of solar energy and renewables systems (distributed generation) is increasing adoption rapidly in homes and businesses,
- On the health and human services front, we’re seeing better access to healthcare with remote consultations. Meanwhile most agencies are switching to electronic medical records and many are using analytics to improve results,
- The highways are becoming smarter thanks to intelligent transportation management software, roadway sensors and smart parking apps. Navigation apps and equipment display real-time traffic so users can find and even be automatically pointed to less congested alternatives. And we are seeing more electric vehicles on our roads which help reduce pollution and our dependence on oil.
- Over the last two decades, we have deployed high-bandwidth networks worldwide that connect one billion computers and four billion cell phones. These networks are already in place in almost all major cities and can be leveraged for smart city applications
- An increasing number of cities are starting to benefit from a large network of Near-field Communication (NFC) equipped point of sales with the roll-out of contactless cards technology. It means hundreds of merchants are already capable of accepting mobile payments and wallets for seamless consumer experience and value added services, but also cashless cities are able to reduce frauds and benefiting from better insights on their citizen purchasing journeys.
- Smartphones are becoming both a “delivery platform” and a “sensor network” for smart city applications.
8. Rapidly declining technology costs.
Technology costs are plummeting. Hardware costs are declining at a steady pace. But it is software costs that have plunged the most, thanks to following trends, IOT, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Mobile technologies and Social Medias
- Internet Of Thing
Billions of connected devices are already delivering services for many platforms enabling access to different sensors and facilitating data Collection
- Big Data
From an analytical perspective, we can now cost effectively handle the high volume, velocity and variety of collected city data
- Cloud Computing
The cloud computing services are now more mature and delivers powerful solutions via the Internet. Solution Providers saves time and money gaining tremendous economies of scale.
- Mobile development and Mobile Phones
The mobile application development is more and more accessible and information services are now used by millions of mobile phones.
- Social Medias
Applications such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter act as free “platforms” to deliver alerts, updates or even small-scale apps. They also act as “listening posts” that help cities monitor citizen needs and preferences.
To Summaries, in order to make Casablanca greener, safer, and more efficient, Smart City Capabilities is a mandatory step to achieve a significant Improvement in safety and quality of life of Casablancas City inhabitant. My Next Article will describe the barriers we have to overcome in order to set up a Smart City in Casablanca