Last week Arcadis Leaders, Weibin Xu, Head of China South and West, and newly appointed Head of Business Advisory for Hong Kong and Macau, Dr Alex Katsanos attended the 2019 ULI Asia Pacific events in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, respectively, to discuss the current challenges facing the cities and their focus areas of development.
Mr Xu was a part of the Convivium in Shenzhen, which looked at the city’s unique ecosystem and its four main pillars of focus - infrastructure, connectivity, technology, and real estate. He contributed to the conversation by discussing how these pillars will impact short, medium and long-term city planning for the real estate industry.
Acting as a panellist at the Hong Kong Conference, Dr Katsanos’ discussion covered the cashless economy, the role of greenfield districts and what they need to do to align more closely with Hong Kong’s Smart City Blueprint, better use of space and crowdsourcing social media to decode behavioural patterns.
Acknowledging that the government is committed to progressing its technology agenda, he also pointed out the need to improve ICT infrastructure, the quality and access of open source data, leveraging private sector ingenuity and the participation of the general population to best mine the collected data.
‘For a long time, we thought that the components of a Smart City were sensors, cameras and analytics software. We forgot about the most important element, the citizens’, said Dr Katsanos. ‘Through social media, and technology interactions, the data we are collecting is telling us what they want from their space. All we need to do is listen, decode and evolve the city to become citizen centric”.
With over 20 years’ experience in operational improvement, capital planning, productivity strategy and procurement excellence, Alex Katsanos has worked across several infrastructure sub-sectors in East Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. He holds a PhD from the University of Surrey and he is currently focusing on advisory work relating to Smart City and smart building concepts for several major city stakeholders in Hong Kong.
Arcadis is the leading global Design & Consultancy for natural and built assets. Applying our deep market sector insights and collective design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services we work in partnership with our clients to deliver exceptional and sustainable outcomes throughout the lifecycle of their natural and built assets. We are 27,000 people, active in over 70 countries that generate €3.2 billion in revenues. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world. www.arcadis.com
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