Recap “Smart Cities Azerbaijan” roundtable event with RU News

Press Release | Republic Underground, Timberwolf-Phoenix LLC 

April 17, 2021 

On April 16, Republic Underground hosted a roundtable mixture of presentation and Q/A with Azerbaijani expert speakers on the future of smart city production in Azerbaijan. Tsukerman was joined by Tural Aliyev, a doctoral researcher at the University of Geneva, Amin Mammadov from Azerbaijan’s State Committee on Urban Planning, and Anar Valiyev, the Dean of the ADA.

Tsukerman launched the roundtable by greeting all viewers and wishing “Ramadan Mubarak” to all those who were celebrating. She then explained that this roundtable was to discuss the importance of developing smart cities in the liberated territories of Karabakh, but also the importance of the future of smart cities in the region.

In the panel, Aliyev presented a screen share presentation.
Aliyev greeted everyone with thanks and wished everyone a Ramadan Mubarak before presenting his notes.
“Let me share my presentation that I just prepared for the 10 minutes I was dedicated to speak today,” said Aliyev, noting that he would like to share some thoughts on smart cities with specific context to Karabakh and Azerbaijan, along with sharing some general directions for developing the territory.

 

The presentation was entitled” From Smart to Smart & Sustainable Cities”. Aliyev noted that he intentionally made emphasis on “smart and sustainable” cities and that he would explain this in detail.

He then launched a basic lecture on what a smart city constitutes and how one can localize its concepts.

In Aliyev’s instructional models he shoHe also highlighted how Singapore’s comparative model notes the exact movement of unregistered vehicles in the region. He also noted how the Singapore smart city worked, noting that the city structure monitors with tech city cleanliness and utilities. He then showed comparative models of Barcelona’s city, and how the city uses smart technology for timed street lamps, that turn off where there is no activity to save the city money, as well as parking place prediction apps and automatic waste management tools.

He put in context that Karabakh is traditional a mountainous region with clean air, water, and good food production quality. He noted there is no population density here because of complete or partial destruction, which makes this a huge opportunity for building. In his lecture and comparisons, he notes the importance of cost and management efficacy in making a city both smart and sustainable.

Mammadov then took the floor by explaining the Azerbaijani government’s priorities regarding developing smart cities in the region. He noted the big cities of Karabakh and also explained that Ganja, near the border of Georgia, is considered a “big” city for the production of smart city technology as well. Mammadov gave the background for Ganja’s potential for agricultural development. He likewise explained the challenges at the governmental level of finding management personnel and opportunities to develop such smart cities.

The panel was later joined by Anar Valiyev, the Dean of ADA University. The panel was later joined by Anar Valiyev, the Dean of ADA University. Tsukerman relayed to Valiyev that Aliyev and Mammadov had explained the context of smart cities in Karabakh as well as the concepts of local and global smart cities.

“If we discuss the concept of the smart city and its applicability in Azerbaijan, especially in newly constructed territories, we have to understand that most of the functional models of smart cities in the world, whether its the Singapore model, Helsinki model, or some other model, this was happening in a city that was already in existence,” said Valiyev, noting that many of these cities had infrastructure that was adapted with smart city technology to increase the city’s functionality.

“In the case of Karabakh, the problem over here is that the whole territory is completely devastated. There is no population living there. So, we have to think about that. We have to reconstruct the cities and build from scratch.”

He then noted that the greatest challenges to Karabakh were building smart cities for city’s that, at present, have no population. He then noted that the greatest challenges to Karabakh were building smart cities for city’s that, at present, have no population. It is difficult because prediction models and infrastructural needs must be anticipated and forecast before smart cities can be implemented.

“Perhaps it is coining a new term, but we have to think beyond the terms of the smart village or smart city and more about a smart region,” said Valiyev, noting his opinion of overcoming the challenges of building accurately predicted models in a region where the infrastructure is decimated.

After Valiyev’s remarks, Tsukerman then turned the discussion over to the Q/A panel. 

Look for more updates on this panel, and for our series on Society, Technology and Innovation.