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Joburg as a smart city

Smart and caring, that is how the City of Joburg aims to bring together all the characteristics associated with organisational change, technological advancement, economic and social development and other dynamics of a modern city.
Joburg as a smart cityAt the Metropolis 2013's Board of Directors meeting, under the theme "Caring Cities" and taking place from 16-17 July 2013, the City of Joburg has the opportunity to showcase progress made in its journey towards being a smart city in a developing world with a broadband network, an integrated intelligence centre, and the Gauteng Smart/Techno Hub initiative in the pipeline.

City of Joburg executive mayor, Mpho Parks Tau says "The City of Joburg wants to become smart in all aspects, providing services that are easy to access and use, whilst simultaneously being efficient, responsive in an open and transparent way; and ensuring financial sustainability, environmental friendly city and delivering quality service."

Three reasons for making a city smart to be discussed are:
  • Sustainability - Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the city's carbon footprint, reducing water wastage and making clean water available and accessible
  • Build to last - Protecting the natural environment, improving public administration and implementation of smart energy
  • Economic development - Making it easy to do business, making the City an attractive investment destination, enhancing competitiveness, a robust ICT infrastructure, accessibility of information and to make the city marketable

The meeting will be one of three major international events of the Metropolis Association, the others being "One Young World" (an international youth summit) to be held in October 2013 and "C40" (an international global climate summit) taking place in February 2014.

Vision of the future

Positioning the City of Joburg as a smart and caring city is tabled within the Joburg 2040 Growth and Development Strategy (Joburg 2040 GDS). This strategy not only provides the City with a vision of the future, but defines clear outcomes against which to measure progress.

As proud hosts of the Metropolis 2013 meeting, the City will showcase its capabilities and ability to use information and communication technology (ICT) to merge dimensions of smart utilities, smart mobility, smart economy, smart environment, smart education, smart people, smart living, smart health, smart planning and smart governance. The objective is to improve the profile of the City of Joburg as a prime destination for investors, tourists and events alike and position it as a world class African city.

As a smart city, Joburg's broadband network will be positioned to be the driver of growth and development, and also provide solutions to eradicate socio-economic inequalities. The City views this as a strategic focus area for strengthening capacity to build effective and efficient ICTs with excellent management systems, effective policies and streamlined processes for effective decision-making and service delivery.

Intervention strategies to support the City of Joburg becoming a smart city include smart metering of electricity and water, and an integrated intelligent centre for public safety. For this the city will deliver quality ICT systems and services to encourage active involvement and engagement by its citizens, including municipal services provided to households via a broadband infrastructure.

To manifest the vision of the City of Joburg as a smart city, ICT intervention strategies will also focus on the optimal use of ICT to improve productivity and efficiency such as the reduction of physical meetings through fostering the use of teleconferencing, video conferencing and tele presence facilities.

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