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THE Zambia Institute of Architects (ZIA) is next week scheduled to hold its annual international conference dubbed Architecture and Urbanisation, Challenges and Opportunities of Smart Cities.

President Hakainde Hichilema is expected to grace the official opening of the two-day conference slated for next week in Livingstone with other government officials.

ZIA President, Bwalya Masabo said the conference is designed to build environment players and at the same time cut across all professions.

Mr. Masabo said the ultimate drive for smart cities is to enhance human life experiences in cities by making them safer, efficient, resilient, and adaptive to dynamic planning laws, through the application of advanced technologies and data-driven decisions and operations.

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He said in a statement that there is a need to develop an effective and highly functional public transportation system coupled with community social infrastructure.

“There is need to have resilient, sustainable, confident, and progressive city plans. City plans that will be based on digital twinning of our existing cities into digital models so as to enhance and automate planning processes, development control, and service delivery,” Mr. Masabo said.
He said as the government drives the decentralisation agenda coupled with growth for local businesses, it is critical that professionals take lead in ensuring that technological innovation takes centre stage.

He said this positive disruption would bring about challenges and opportunities and would require all minds to be synchronised to the agenda.

Mr. Masabo is confident the conference would create a platform for knowledge sharing and dispensation from leading industry players and academia.

He said the forum would also bring about mindset change that is transformed towards a common goal of benchmarking deliverables and timelines towards digitising and transforming the cities.

He has called on urban planners, contractors, engineers, IT specialists, entrepreneurs, manufactures, suppliers, civic and community leaders, and all other professionals to be part of this conference and come up with localised solutions for smart cities.

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