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Experts, govt deliberate on smart cities


BY Thomas Mupfuka

THE Zimbabwe Institute of Geometrics (ZIG) will next week hold a conference expected to bring together experts to deliberate on Sustainable Development Goal 11, which seeks to promote smart cities.

Delegates will be drawn from financial houses, research houses, tertiary institutions, government departments and private sector players.

ZIG president Wilson Mhuri said the indaba was expected to come up with solutions that will help deal with waste management issues, corruption, and provision of services by the country’s local authorities.

“We intend to bring together various professionals from all over the world, especially those working around the built environment in cities to discuss and/or share solutions on various challenges in our cities. This will be a chance to put minds together for a common good,” Mhuri said.

“The conference will bring in key players in local government, especially councils and give them an opportunity to share their initiatives for better cities.
We will have various presentations from different countries, thereby creating a chance to benchmark on how to improve our cities to become better cities or smart cities. This is in line with already existing initiatives, especially by Harare city in their vision 2025,” he added.

“Inspiration came from the various challenges experienced in our cities in Zimbabwe and we took Harare as our first case study. The issue of selling land by land barons in unplanned areas, the water crisis, garbage collection challenges, traffic congestion, mushrooming of billboards, traffic lights monitoring, development on wetlands, challenges in connectivity in terms of accessibility of critical information, flooding of city roads.

“We realised that as built environment professionals there is need to engage other stakeholders to find a way to share information and solutions to these challenges. We felt it was important to sensitise the public on what needs to be done for us to promote smart cities in Zimbabwe. As geometrics professionals, we play a big role in the monitoring and management of much of the above challenges.”

The two-day conference will run under the theme Enhancing the optimal quality and performance of urban services through geometrics.

The current macro-economic woes have seen major local authorities failing to provide clean water and other services, which has exposed citizens to various diseases.

Meanwhile, experts have called on city fathers to partner investors in waste management and revenue collection.

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