Prof. Oualid Ben Ali
Professor at German University of Technology, Sultanate of Oman and President of Future Cities Council Toronto, Canada
Biography: "Dr. Oualid Ali has obtained a bachelors degree in Management Information Systems (MIS), in 1998, from the "Institut Superieur de Gestion" (Higher Institute of Management), in Tunis, Tunisia. In 1999, he moved to Canada, Laval University, Quebec, to carry on further studies and obtained a Master degree in Computer Science in 2001, and PhD in Computer Science in 2006. After his PhD study, in 2006, he moved to UK to work as senior research assistant because he has received a 2 years- MARIE-CURIE prestigious scholarship to work in bot York University and Hull University. In 2008 he moved to the University of Sharjah (UAE) to work in the MIS Department in the College of Business Administration. In 2010, he became the Head of the MIS Department in the College of Business Administration, University of Sharjah. In 2015, he has moved to Muscat to hold the position of Director of the Training and Smart Solutions Center (TSSC) in the German University in Muscat, Oman and he has become responsible of research, innovation training and consultancies. Dr. Oualid Ali is a research leader in the following areas: Smart, sustainable and future cities; Digital transformation; Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Digital Leadership, Business Analytics, Big Data, Open Data, GeoSpatial Technologies (especially GIS), Management Information Systems (MIS), Business Information Systems (BIS), Business Intelligence (BI), Location Intelligence (LI), etc. He has published several papers in renowned international journals. He has participated in many international and national events such as conferences, symposiums, etc. as a guest or keynote speaker. He has participated in numerous projects around the world, either as a researcher, trainer or consultant." In the field of Smart, Sustainable and Future Cities, Dr. Oualid is considered as one of the international well-recognized expert. He has participated in several smart (future) cities projects as a researcher or as a consultant. He was involved in the planning and implementation of future cities in many domains such as Smart mobility and transportation, smart tourism and destination, smart energy, smart healthcare, smart logistics, smart waste management, smart parking, smart water management, smart education, smart security, smart policing and law enforcement, etc. He has given several training and capacity building courses related to that field. Moreover, he is a member of several organizations related to the area of Smart Cities or Urban technologies. He has been invited in several occasions in local, regional and international events as a guest or keynote speaker in order to deliver talks about future cities and its domains. Recently he founded two organizations: The FutureCitiesCouncil.org and the ArabFutureCities.org where he is the president (http://www.futurecitiescouncil.org/). .
Title : Smart, but livable cities
By the middle of this century, the number of people living in cities is projected to nine billion people. While Asian cities are at the center of this urban flux, urbanization is a truly global trend, affecting populations in developed and emerging regions across all continents. To keep up with the rapid influx of new city dwellers, the constraints on resources and budgets, the effects of climate change – both environmental and political – and other critical factors, city leaders are turning to technology to tackle all these challenges. Since then, several cities leaders start to harness technology from the smartphones in our pockets and the cameras on the lampposts to sensors in the sewers, the sidewalks and the bike-sharing stations which make the contemporary city permeated with networked information technology, with the aim to make the city smart and efficient. As promoted by enterprises like IBM, Siemens and Cisco Systems, the vision of the "smart city" proposes that this technology can be harnessed by municipal administrators to achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency, security, convenience and sustainability. But a closer look at what this body of ideas actually consists of suggests that such a city will not, and cannot, serve the interests of the people who live in it, so the city became smart but not livable.