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Siemens unveils how critical data is in developing smart cities

As global leaders descend in Cape Town this week to explore economic opportunities at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa conference, Siemens has unveiled a data visualisation of the city that illustrates how data is critical to transforming Africa’s urban centres into smart cities of the future.

The brightly weaved fabric – inspired by Bo Kaap (one of Cape Town’s most distinct and colourful neighbourhoods) – outlines various infrastructure points of the city and its underlying data.

Some of the points include buildings, marine traffic, railway congestion, zoning, waste-water plants, postal routes, trees, borders, pipelines and the ocean.

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“These data patterns speak about unlocking the potential of African cities through digital ingenuity. Data on each infrastructure point gives greater insight on the challenges being faced in the city, and helps leaders make smart urban planning decisions in future,” said Keshin Govender, Siemens head of corporate communications for Southern and Eastern Africa.

“Siemens has a long history with the City of Cape Town and has assisted in developing and maintaining many landmark projects. Throughout the years, we understood the challenges it faced and in future we are open to continuing these kinds of partnerships to help create a more connected, efficient and powered city,” Govender added.

Cape Town was recently named Africa’s leading digital city, with its economic centre contributing nearly three-quarters of GDP in the Western Cape, and nearly R5 billion in foreign direct investment.

More than half of emerging tech companies in South Africa are based in the Western Cape Province, with most of them stationed in Cape Town.

The city has also adopted a Resilience Strategy which speaks to a compassionate, connected, and capable city, where Capetonians collaborate across households, communities and institutions, to build collective responses to the current and future social, environmental and economic challenges.

“It’s clear that Cape Town is embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With our expertise in automation, electrification and digitalisation, Cape Town will remain a powerhouse in Africa and lead the continent’s digitalisation revolution,” said Govender.

“Cape Town has come a long way since 1860, and going forward with smart infrastructure connecting energy systems, buildings and industries, there will be evolution in the way the city serves it citizens in their daily lives,” concluded Govender.

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.