UAE smart city deploys smart strategies to become living lab


Saudi Arabian city Alnama is planning to become a smart zero carbon destination through its smart grid strategy and technologies. The end goal is to become a living lab to continuously improve upon its smart capabilities.

The project is being led by URB – a smart city developer based in Dubai, which provides master planning, landscape design and architecture services – and aims to leverage a variety of smart technology and strategies to bolster the standard of living experienced by its residents.

As a smart city, Alnama makes use of various technologies and will support start-ups and businesses in its green-technology hub in the hopes of closing the loop between food, water, energy and waste.

Some of the technology initiatives announced for the city by URB includes:

  • Integrated technology such as Information Communication Technologies [ICT] and Internet of Things [IoTs] into its hard and soft infrastructures
  • A smart grid, in the hopes of providing resources more efficiently and equitably to residents
  • Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, self-driving cars and solar farms
  • A two-way grid system, aiming to create a green economy.
  • Home energy-management solutions enabled with transmission and distribution by the city’s smart solar grid systems
  • Homes equipped with smart meters, network and security architectures, switching products and routing to create a renewable solar distributed generation grid
  • Smart water systems, to reduce resident water consumption

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At a building level, sensors will aim to play a key role. Indoor lighting and temperature can automatically be adjusted based on variables, including the number of occupants in a room, the time of day as well as exterior weather and light conditions.

Each building will reportedly have embedded sensors to detect motion, temperature, noise, moisture, fire and smoke, for example, to provide real-time data and help improve operational efficiency, safety and security.

In addition to biosaline agriculture, the city provides vertical farms, aquaponics, fish and dairy farms which will be enabled by data science, IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation.

CEO of URB, Baharash Bagherian, stated on the city: “Alnama aims to be the next generation of self-sufficient city, producing all the city’s renewable energy needs…Biosaline agriculture, productive gardens, wadis and carbon-rich habitats are key features of the development’s innovative and resilient landscape design.”

According to URB, the smart city also has the capability of maintaining functions in the case of any shocks or stresses to its environment by integrating blue and green infrastructure.

The smart city developer has also stated their hope for Alnama to become a living lab, monitoring services and resources, using AI for predictive analysis, piloting innovations and analysing user feedback to develop its smart capabilities.