BIMHarambee.Africa 2020, themed The Digital Disruption, is a month-long virtual conference which brings together Building Information Modelling (BIM) practitioners from across the continent to share their knowledge and drive the needed transformation across the continent. With over 1,000 registered participants and still counting, the conference features 20 days of active learning, 62 speakers, 42 presentations and case studies, 6 learning sessions, 5-panel discussions, 6 discussion forums, and delivered in 2 official languages.

Session - "Reimagining the way cities are built in Africa"

More than 55% of the population in cities live in slum-like conditions across many Sub-Saharan Africa countries. With the growing urbanization, many African cities are experiencing inadequate infrastructure, economic competition, land degradation, and insufficient access to clean water and inadequate healthcare facilities in urban slums. These urban slums are more vulnerable to challenges such as the current global COVID-19 pandemic, energy crisis and waste crisis. In general, these challenges have ultimately reduced the overall quality of life for people living in cities across Africa.

Enhanced lifestyle, sustainability and increased productivity are some of the numerous benefits of a smart city concept reported by leading and arising smart cities across the world. Some examples of global smart city leaders are Barcelona, Dublin, and Vancouver. The smart city concept to be discussed embraces the implementation of sustainable solutions to tackle challenges posed by the rapid rate of urbanization, stress, inadequate infrastructure, lack of city services, economic competition, and environmental difficulties presently found in some of the African cities. This study has taken Surulere LGA, Lagos, Nigeria as a case study. It acknowledges that a smart city means different things to different cities and this study has proposed a smart city definition and vision in the context of Surulere LGA. Smart city concept in Surulere is an intelligent city that can widely address the citizen-centric demands to enhance the quality of living for inhabitants. The smart city vision of Surulere is to build and enable a leading digital city.

This session will take the audience through a tour of the need for sustainable development in the urban environment, an understanding the methodology and strategies of smart city development, and the way forward towards achieving sustainable cities. Participants will explore the opportunities inherent in today’s industry and the quest to sustainable development with emerging technologies and innovation in Africa.

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