Smart cities will soon become a reality in Turkey
On Tuesday, Turkey unveiled a national strategy and action plan for smart cities for the next three years. As the economy continues to grow, Turkey is looking for measures to improve its cities, which have long suffered from arbitrary planning and uncontrolled urban population growth. In this regard, the Government has prepared a national strategy and action plan for smart cities for the period 2020-2023.
The plan, which was the result of work and coordination between ministries, local authorities and suppliers of smart cities, was presented in the capital, Ankara, by the Minister of Environment and Urban Development Murat Kurum. This is the first building of its kind in Turkey and an important stage in the history of the country's cities.
About 87% of our cities do not have a smart city monitoring system. We will conduct several IQ tests to see what level of settlements we need to adapt to in this project," Kurum said.
The most tangible benefits of smart cities include 45% savings in waste collection and transportation costs, as well as more water suitable for reuse, since smart systems are installed at wastewater treatment plants. In addition, the plan provides for a significant reduction in fuel costs for cities. The government will provide municipalities and companies with financial incentives and funds to transform cities into smart cities. It will also increase a person's ability to work on the ground.
The index of settlements and regular monitoring will allow you to track changes in settlements and update their needs. Minister Kurum said, for example, that Istanbul should spend more than a billion liras on garbage collection and transportation. "Intelligent waste management systems can use software and sensors to monitor the capacity of waste containers and determine whether they are filled and whether the waste is properly sorted. This, in turn, helps us to reduce transportation costs by up to 5%, currently up to 50%.
The plan and strategy include 40 steps developed based on research and analysis in 400 communities across Turkey. The minister said that this is the fourth plan and strategy in the world after the United States, the Netherlands and Australia announced their own steps to strengthen and develop smart cities.
The government will focus on the immediate needs of cities, and the system will take into account the characteristics of each place. "If, for example, the biggest problem in Artvin (a city in the northeast) is flooding due to heavy rains due to climate change, we will focus our efforts on this. If there is also a traffic problem, it doesn't matter when adapting the smart city concept. In the case of Artvin, the intelligent systems included in our action plan to combat climate change in the Black Sea region allow us to immediately monitor the amount of precipitation," the minister said. Based on precipitation, authorities can develop intelligent water supply systems and intelligent applications that respond to natural disasters, from floods to earthquakes. According to Kurum, such a priority approach will save cities from wasting resources, prevent unnecessary investments and ensure efficient use of time.
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