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Oman future of Smart Cities: Challenges and Opportunities

Authors: Talal Al-Awadhi*, Sultan Qaboos Univesity
Topics: Planning Geography
Keywords: Oman, Smart cities, Challenges, Opportunities
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The total population of Oman has increased from 50,000 in 1950 to 4.65 million in 2018. According to the UN projection (2015), the population of Oman may reach 6,000,000 in 2050. In 1970s, more than 85% of Oman populations were living in rural areas. Conversely 2018, urbanization reached 78.2% according to the World Bank Statistics, 2019.
As city populations in Oman grow and urban sprawl proliferates, issues with economic and social progress are often magnified. These challenges not only affect a city’s quality of life, but also put added stress on traditional infrastructure, increasing the need for energy-efficiency austerity and resource conservation. Technology innovations are the enabler that improves the efficiencies of each smart city project. Each new technology brings with it an immense pool of new possibilities. Since every city has its own culture and infrastructure and funding policies, technology adoption can vary in diverse ways.
This study is based on technical analysis of the ongoing and planned projects focused on urban planning and consultation with stakeholders to examine the challenges and feasibility of smart technological interventions. This paper provides a high-level overview of the impact of projected population growth on urban living, and the challenges facing the increasingly crowded Omani cities. We will highlight recent technological advances that can be used to address these challenges, and then review specific barriers and opportunities including both current use cases for these technologies, as well as future applications based on projected capabilities in the context of Oman vison 2020-2040.

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