Photo source: Sipho Ndebele / Unsplash

We successfully organized an online event Cities can be smart in many ways – exploring business opportunities for the City of George, South Africa on 15th of March 2022.

In the webinar we enjoyed great speeches about business opportunities in the fields of smart energy, smart building, smart infrastructure, and smart mobility, and hear directly from companies who have already entered these markets.

Marko Silen, Director, Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce welcommed everyone to the webinar with the words that “not only people but also cities can be smart”. The pioneers are cities that research efficiently with efficient governance, intelligence transport and good education and so on.

An example of discussed themes was “How to harness technology towars more inclusive cities” by Nancy Odendaal, Professor, School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, University of Cape Town. She spoke, for example, about how early enthusiasm about spatial transcendence overshadowed by research showing increase in face-to-face interaction due to higher rates of communication. She also pointed out that in South Africa the developmental focus is coincided with local government restructing.

Jan Feller, Managing Director, German-Finnish Chamber of Commerce also encouraged Finnish companies which are looking for hands-on sales and business development help in South Africa to contact German-Finnish Chamber of Commerce as well as Finland Chamber of Commerce or Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce.

Key notes of the webinar:

  • Mr. Alderman Mayor Leon van Wyk, George Municipality
  • Overview on Smart Cities – the cities of the 21st century, Dr. Nancy Odendaal Professor, City and regional planning and Director, School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics University of Cape Town, South Africa – Presentation
  • George, a city in South-Africa – experiences and goals, Dr. Kosie Haarhoff, Deputy Director Strategic Growth and Development, George Municipality in South-Africa – Presentation
  • Ms. Lynette Groenewald, Senior Spatial Planner, George Municipality – Presentation

Company cases:

  • Mobility as a Service – The End of Car Ownership? Mr. Sampo Hietanen, Founder & CEO, MaaS Global – Presentation
  • Technologies for a smarter built environment, Mr. Marco Rahner, Smart Infrastructure, Siemens South Africa – Presentation
  • From Waste to Resource, Mr. Dennis Thiel, Managing Director Anaergia Africa – Presentation

Organizers: Finland Chamber of Commerce, the German-South-African Chamber of Commerce, German-Finnish Chamber of Commerce, Western Cape Economic Development Partnership and George Municipality

Please listen and watch the webinar in its entirety here.