Polish ideas for smart cities

Published: November 6, 2021

Smart, green and sustainable – how do Polish cities improve the lives of their residents?

According to the organisers of Expo 2020 Dubai more than 70% of the world's population will live in cities by 2050. The challenges of governing the cities were addressed at the Dubai World Expo in the "Urban & Rural Development" theme week (from 31 October to 6 November 2021). Polish Investment and Trade Agency, which is responsible for Poland's participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, is promoting the country's own smart city solutions. A key event in the comprehensive economic programme was the seminar "Smart cities – solutions of the future".

Smart cities solutions in Poland

Concepts of ideal cities have already appeared in ancient Greece. Piraeus and Pergamon, which were distinguished by their rectangular urban layout, were considered to be their realisation. According to Leonardo da Vinci and Renaissance models, the best cities should lie near rivers. Zamość was also regarded as an ideal city. In the 16th century, it was developed by the Italian architect Bernardo Morando following the concept of the "man-city", in which the Great Market Square was its "heart" and the Zamoyski Palace its "head". Today, smart city concepts respond to challenges related to transport, healthcare or education. Great emphasis is placed on sustainable urban development and taking care of the environment. Ultimately, the cities of the future are to strive for self-sufficiency.

Polish cities are developing rapidly and the quality of life of their residents is constantly improving. In Wrocław, which ranked 15th in the Global Cities of the Future 2021/22 ranking, more and more ideas for smart solutions appear. One of those is the city's traffic control system with bus stop signs, sensors and cameras. The capital of Dolnośląskie Province can also pride itself on the development of a parking space occupancy programme for the disabled and coaches. The solution not only reduces emissions and saves time looking for parking spaces, but also greatly reduces traffic in the city. Zakopane and Wałbrzych also play a significant role in the practical application of the concept of sustainable development.

Both cities are committed to reducing air pollution and implement ideas to prevent landfill fires. Białystok, in turn, invests in ecological buses and transport, and the Municipal Waste Disposal Plant processes waste and uses it to produce electricity for the city. Lubin is famous for its smart street lighting system. When there is no traffic, the lamps reduce power output. The light output increases only when needed, such as when a pedestrian or car appears nearby. Other cities also have things to be proud of. In Gdańsk, an energy-efficient building with communal flats has been constructed at ul. Dolne Młyny. In Warsaw, which ranked 20th in the Global Cities of the Future ranking, the smart solution is a 24/7 municipal contact centre. Through it, people can obtain information, report an incident and put forward their own ideas for improving the city. Residents can also use over 350 free hotspots. A large part of the city is occupied by green areas (220 squares, 90 parks and 8,000 hectares of woodland) and there are over 480 km of cycle paths available to residents. Warsaw also provides favourable conditions for running a business - it was even ranked among the top ten best cities for startups in the world.

Dubai – the city of dreams and host of Expo 2020 Dubai

The World Expo is taking place in Dubai, one of the most advanced cities in the world, which has been implementing the idea of sustainable development at an impressive pace since the 1970s. It owes its development to the discovery of oil deposits. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum invested financial resources in building the city of the future. This has made Dubai an important centre for commerce, tourism and a smart city with the world's tallest building Burj Khalifa (828 metres), the most impressive artificial island archipelagos (Palm Islands and The World Islands) and luxury hotels with Burj al-Arab at the forefront. There are many more impressive solutions. The Dubai Personal Dashboard mobile app, which is designed for residents and tourists, provides unlimited access to key information about the city from public, private and social media sources. Smart solutions also include public Wi-Fi hotspots, a driverless metro, and a virtual guide for all attractions and events for tourists. Expo 2020 Dubai is the quintessence of Dubai's panache. The first World Expo in an Arab country is the biggest promotional and economic event in history, comparable in terms of scale to the Olympic Games or the World Cup.

Economic Seminar of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency – "Smart cities – solutions of the future"

The initiative of the business seminars is part of the comprehensive Economic Programme for Expo 2020 Dubai developed by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency. Its aim is to familiarise foreign investors with services, technologies and products of Polish entrepreneurs and to establish business contacts in four areas: green technologies, space industry, smart solutions for cities and medical and pharmaceutical industry. The seminars take place in Dubai.

The 'Smart cities - solutions of the future' seminar took place on 6 November 2021. It discussed modern technological solutions that improve the quality of life for city dwellers. Poland presented itself as a country open to smart solutions. The experts invited to the discussion presented the challenges of sustainable urban development and the implementation of modern technologies.

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