A sustainable vision

THE coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic provided an opportunity to explore innovative mechanisms to use public space and technology in the region, according to an expert.

This, in turn, created the need to pursue a sustainable urban future by accelerating the transition from traditional development, added Arabian Gulf University (AGU) Professor Odeh Al Jayyousi.

He was speaking during a webinar, ‘Post Covid-19 Innovative and Sustainable Cities: Lessons and Policy Implications’, organised by the Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat) yesterday.

“We are living on ever-decreasing natural capital as the human race now consumes 30 per cent more biological resources than the earth can produce in one year,” said Prof Al Jayyousi.

“The fourth industrial revolution presents great promise to leapfrog traditional development and accelerate the transition to a more sustainable urban future.

“Today’s emerging economies attract more urban citizens than ever before.

“Cities in Asia and Africa are forecast to absorb 90pc of the world 2.5 billion new urbanites by 2050.”

According to Prof Al Jayyousi, there are game-changers in the fourth industrial revolution for emerging cities.

He highlighted that these include adaptive cities which make the most of multifunctional space, seamless cities which connect people and places, and empowered cities that optimise urban energy systems.

Prof Al Jayyousi added that there are living cities which are advancing circular resource management and regenerative cities which intelligently respond to catastrophic risk.

“There are challenges we are facing in terms of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and these include water, energy, the environment, education and health,” he said.

The SDGs are 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”.

Intended to be achieved by 2030, the goals are: No poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reducing inequality, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, justice, and strong institutions, and partnerships for the goals.

“The pandemic has allowed for two types of innovation – and they are incremental and radical – and in order to achieve a sustainable community we must aim for radical innovations and not incremental.

“We must implement artificial intelligence such as robotics and analyse large amounts of data and this is a chance to transform into a smart city but this needs a smart community which understands this technology.”

He also stressed the vital importance of also aiming for a healthy city in addition to achieving a smart sustainable city through focusing on innovating urbanisation, transportation and logistics, infrastructure, health and environmental cities, and utilising energy.

“The pandemic has forced us to rethink of adaptation ways to various catastrophes such as the community’s relationship with renewable energy, circular economy and land use and the provision of services to avoid future problems such as pandemics which could create massive losses,” he added.


“Zoning is critical to best utilise the land we possess to achieve the goals set for self-sufficiency, health and justice.

“There must be a balance between creating benefit and the utilisation of public and private space.

“There are positive changes in Bahrain that are working towards achieving the SDGs through agility and resilience as well as connection and utilisation of technologies.”

He highlighted that the pandemic has accelerated the use of emerging technology and innovative methods for international co-operation, sharing of expertise and data analysis on a large scale.


Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/1002990/A-sustainable-vision


Share this page Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linkedin

Discover the 'Made in France à Bahrain' Guide

'Made in France à Bahrain' - Edition 2021
is YOUR guide to the economic presence in Bahrain. Click here to view the online guide