The Zimbabwe Institute of Regional and Urban Planners (ZIRUP) revealed that the adoption of smart city ideas in Zimbabwe must be rooted in contextual realities and properly regulated to create urban spaces that are sustainable and inclusive.
Addressing delegates during the Green Building stakeholder workshop held in the capital yesterday, ZIRUP president Dr. Andrew Chigudu said there is much needed in terms of physical infrastructure, and a smart city adding that the digital technologies translate into better public services for inhabitants and better use of resources while reducing environmental impacts.
“One of the formal definitions of the smart city is a city connecting the physical infrastructure, the information-technology infrastructure, the social infrastructure, and the business infrastructure to leverage the collective intelligence of the city.
“A smart city is an urban development using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) to provide useful information to effectively manage resources and assets.
“Sustainability is a vital aspect of smart cities as they seek to improve efficiencies in urban areas and improve the welfare of citizens.
“Cities offer many environmental advantages, such as smaller neighborhoods, but they also have some negative impacts, including the use of fossil fuels to power them.
“However, smart technologies help alleviate these negative effects, for instance, the use of an electric transport system to reduce emissions. Electric vehicles also help to control the frequency of the electric grid while not in use.
“Such sustainable transport options should also see a reduction in the number of cars in urban areas. Creating such sustainable solutions deliver environmental and societal benefits. New technology should drive smarter traffic management to deliver livable and sustainable cities,” he said.
Meanwhile, the UN-Habitat Climate Specialist Dr. Vincent Kitio urged Green Building Council to suggest to the necessary authorities the removal of financial barriers through the creation of an affordable line of credit that can accelerate the uptake of green building in Zimbabwe.
“The Green Building Council is an ideal platform for promoting energy and resources efficiency in buildings. The Council needs to have an integrated approach whereby all stakeholders are involved: from architects, building practitioners, decision-makers, homeowners, end users, and many more.
“The Council needs to produce and adapt tools and information materials to assist architects in their new building design. The Council has to advocate for energy-efficient building codes and regulations. The council should develop green building rating standard that is appropriate to
“The council should suggest to the necessary authorities the removal of financial barriers through the creation of an affordable line of credit that can accelerate the uptake of green buildings in Zimbabwe.
“UN-Habitat stands ready to assist the Green Building Council of Zimbabwe in this
endeavor,” he said.
The futuristic Cybercity is projected to anchor what authorities view as the new capital city or the New Harare in the Mount Hampden area, 26 kilometers northwest of Harare.
Estimated at $500 million, Zimbabwe Cyber City is being developed by United Arab Emirates-based industrial conglomerate Mulk International.
The Green Building Council of Zimbabwe (GBCZW) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to lead the transformation of the building and construction sector towards sustainability. The cornerstones of the GBCZW are centered on environmental preservation, sustainable building practices, non-polluting materials, and energy and water conservation. Roles and responsibilities include fostering strategic partnerships, development, and implementation of green building rating tools, and advocacy among others.