Smart cities and how to build them
05 Apr 2019 | Graduan

Gamuda Land is leading the future of homes, possibly changing the way we live and interact with one another as well as our surroundings.

In the age of being able to book a tour to the moon and telesurgery, the concept of smart city living seems, well, less out of this world.

Gamuda is at the forefront of building the future of homes and creating townships that are agile enough to support inevitable growth; where people and businesses thrive and where man and nature co-exist. These fundamentals are already being implemented at Gamuda Land’s first-of-its-kind development taking shape over a sprawling 1,530-acre site in southern Klang Valley surrounded by a forest reserve called Gamuda Cove, which is being planned as a self-sustained, connected and green smart township.

In the words of Gamuda Land general manager Devendran Krishnamoorthy, creating smart cities goes beyond making townships more liveable and is not solely dependent on the use of technology. Rather, he asserts that the concept of smart living is, in essence, the logical solution to many of today’s problems brought about by growth and over development.

“Traffic congestion, the lack of efficient connectivity and mobility, safety and security of our neighbourhoods, intermittent flooding, breakdown of essential services, high energy use and the lack of maintenance all impact liveability and our sense of wellbeing.

We need a way to track and monitor our townships and ensure that its inevitable growth is sustainable and more importantly, comfortable,” he says.

Devendran goes on to explain that smart cities are created when people, places and technology come together to deliver outcomes that focus on improving quality of life and protecting the environment for our future generation.

“We are in the midst of an urban evolution. Smart cities of tomorrow will be designed to engage governments, citizens, visitors and businesses in an intelligent, connected ecosystem. Achieving this requires an effective way of collecting, collating and processing data and information to facilitate better and more accurate decision-making for all stakeholders.

“For instance, it should allow us to track traffic conditions in real-time and offer multi-modal transportation options within a township that will significantly reduce reliance on cars and ease congestion, which will directly make our environment greener and streets safer. Additionally, it should reduce the number of people affected by disasters and be able to monitor and manage one’s energy use at home towards better savings,” he adds.

To support the creation of smart townships, Devendran relies on the Group’s talented and energetic workforce to come up with creative ways to design smarter, build faster, cleaner and to higher quality standards all with a focus on technology as a backbone.

“We must be strategic and set higher standards for our cities. Technology is a vital mechanism that delivers smarter communities, but technology alone is never enough. The future workforce will be one that has access to unprecedented tools and processes with immense power to change almost every aspect of the built environment from 3D design, augmented reality to virtual reality, automation to machine-learning, the possibilities of AI-powered solutions and robotics. But at the heart of this change is human skill, and the ambition and vision to achieve a better built environment,” he stresses.

To this end, he talks about Gamuda Land’s Smart City framework, derived from the Group’s core values, which are in turn aligned to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal No. 11 – making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

“In Gamuda, we have our ears to the ground, listening for changes that will impact the industry and the built environment. We understand the need to react and adapt fast, and this requires us to be innovative in everything we do. As an effective workforce, our aim is to push the concept of smart cities to new heights by integrating it as part of our work, processes, construction and management, effectively creating a cohesive Gamuda Smart ecosystem,” he adds.

Devendran is particularly excited about how the Group has taken a lead position by adopting the use of a digital design-to delivery system for its development projects. “The combination of the Building Information Modelling (BIM) process and robotic IBS prefabrication system allows us to create a streamlined process to achieve creative designs and products with reduced errors and wastage, optimised productivity, better safety and higher quality,” he says.

He may have his plate full, but Devendran is loving the challenge of trying new approaches and ideas at work.

“This role has opened up so many avenues for creative application, from design to construction, facilitating change that will have direct impacts on families, communities and the way we live in an ever-urbanising environment. I’m excited to be part of this global push for change to make the world a more liveable place”.