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Smart Affordable Housing to be Discussed at the 10th World Urban Forum

Planet Smart City, the UK headquartered global leader in smart affordable housing, will reinforce the UAE’s efforts to achieve the shared global vision of eradicating poverty and delivering sustainable development at this year’s World Urban Forum (WUF). Convened by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the event will take place from 8-13 February at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre —the first time an Arab country has hosted the event.

Building sustainable cities and communities is a key goal of the Emirates in order to provide better living conditions to all.  Drawing from its experience in Brazil and Italy using a unique approach to real estate development, Planet will share insights on the use of new digital technologies, intelligent urban planning and social innovation programmes to tackle the global affordable housing deficit and enhance the quality of life.

Planet has been chosen to run a key network building event at the Forum, bringing together leading global experts to discuss: “Places that matter: how affordable neighbourhoods can be smart and innovative, creating communities that improve the quality of life of residents.” The event will feature contributions from Planet’s newly-established Scientific Committee, including leading experts such as Mohamed El Sioufi, currently professor at Monash University, who spent almost two decades with UN-HABITAT advising on settlements policy around the world, Francesca De Filippi, Director of the Research Centre on Habitat in the Global South (CRD-PVS) at Politecnico di Torino, and Francesca Medda, director of University College London’s Institute of Finance and Technology, which specialises in sustainable investment and urban infrastructure financing.

They will be joined by Manoj Sharma, Chief of Urban Sector Group, Sustainable Development, and Climate Change, at the Asian Development Bank and Amadou Oumarou, Director of Transport and Urban Development at the African Development Bank. Daniele Russolillo, Planet’s COO and Deputy Global CEO, will moderate the event and join Alan Marcus, the company’s Chief Digital Strategy Officer and former head of technology, media and digital at the World Economic Forum, to share their experience of how to enhance community life in affordable neighbourhoods through urban planning, services, social innovation programmes, and technology.

The event will be an opportunity for panelists and participants to engage with the challenge of unsafe and overcrowded housing, which affects more than 1.6 billion people around the world. Delegates will be invited to contribute to the role of affordable housing and smart cities, with discussions on how these two areas can be combined to support sustainable urbanization. Participants will then be able to join roundtables with the panelists to discuss how private real estate stakeholders can actively address the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.

The world-class Scientific Committee will help Planet pioneer an innovative approach to delivering high quality smart affordable housing, based on the latest academic research and cutting-edge technology.  Aimed at aligning the business to the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs, the unique insights of committee members will supplement the diverse expertise of Planet’s competence centre in Turin, Italy, which employs a team of architectural, digital, environmental and social innovation specialists.

Graziella Roccella, Planet’s Chief Research & Urban Planning officer and coordinator of the Scientific Committee, said: “Planet’s mission is to disrupt the affordable housing sector and in order to do so, we are investing 10% of our current revenues in the next three years in research, which is core to our operations. The demand is clear: 1.6 billion people live in inadequate or overcrowded housing and we simply cannot stick to the status quo. I am delighted to have world-renowned experts helping Planet to pioneer a new approach to how we deliver affordable housing worldwide. High-quality homes and services must underpin rich and resilient community life and I look forward to working closely with our independent Scientific Committee to drive this forward.”

Also, in line with Planet’s growth plans, the company will announce a major expansion of its global reach at the Forum with the launch of an innovative partnership in India. Planet’s team will be available throughout the forum at stand H9 25.

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