The economic department of the French Embassy in Muscat hosted a conference on ‘Sustainable Cities’ on the occasion of the third edition of French Week in Oman recently.
Organised under the auspices of H E Renaud Salins, Ambassador of France to the sultanate, and H H Sayyid Tarik al Said, patron of the Environment Society of Oman, the aim of the Sustainable Cities conference was to discuss the important challenges cities will have to face over the coming decades.
It was agreed at the conference that the French and Omani companies are already addressing these challenges with proven and innovative solutions.
H E Talal al Rahbi, Deputy Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Planning, gave the concluding remarks at the conference.
H E Salins said, “With 55 per cent of the world’s population now living in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68 per cent by 2050, cities are a symbol of success for globalisation.”
But this progress, he said, came with increased complexity and reliance on many systems, networks, that, should they fail, could impact millions of people’s lives in a matter of seconds.
“Hence the conference theme: Sustainable Cities, not only in the meaning of climate change, but also sustainable for humans. This means designing systems that will be able to sustain an ever-larger demand over the coming decades.”
As the world continues to urbanise, the use of smarter and greener technologies becomes a prerequisite, in order to provide everyone with a safe and healthy environment. These challenges include housing, transportation, energy, water and waste systems, safety and cyberspace, H E Salins said.
The first panel discussion at the event focused on Smart City networks, with companies such as Thales and Idemia showing how to ensure the security of citizens and urban systems, while Seureca and Suez presented the automatisation of the water supply in Muscat, along with the managers of the Public Authority for Water (Diam). The second panel discussion showcased multiple sustainable technologies. be’ah and Suez presented optimal waste management strategies and how to reuse the energy created.
Tabreed-Engie, JCDecaux and Total focused on energy sustainability, covering efficient cooling systems, energy-efficient ads and green transportation perspectives.
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