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Forum explores sustainable innovations for cities

The World Green Economy Organization launched the Smart and Sustainable City Platform last week, a forum aimed at devising and spreading knowledge about solutions promoting environment-friendly urban development.

The launch event brought together members from the organization, Global Green Growth Institute and Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement, among others.

The WGEO was launched in October last year by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, with the support of the United Nations Development Program.

The platform -- critically linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris climate agreement -- will bring to focus how cities can progress sustainably by embracing new technologies and solutions centered on green growth. 

“Smart cities represent the next stage of urban evolution, incorporating infrastructure and broadband connectivity in managing and delivering public services,” said Ahmad Buti Al Muhairbi, board member of WGEO, at the event at Plaza Hotel in Seoul on May 23.

Analysts forecast that the number of urban residents will reach 5 billion by 2030, putting greater strains on cities and requiring innovative solutions for their sustainable development and growth management.

Noting that smart cities will meet the challenges of present and future generations, the executive said the platform will provide practical resources in identifying and implementing solutions using a database of city profiles, case studies, policy models and communication tools.

Solutions for low-carbon transport systems and climate change-resilient urban environment will be researched and shared, he added, also mentioning efficient energy and water usage, effective governance and citizen participation.

Innovations in waste management, infrastructure, carbon measurement and planning, green power and energy-efficient transport will also be developed.

By Joel Lee (