Talk of Isam Shahrour at TEDX Sciences Po Paris, November 13, 2015.
The talk concerned the personal engagement of Isam Shahrour in the Smart City implementation and the role of Smart Cities in building a Smart World.
Isam ShahrourProfessor, Director of the Civil and geo-environmental Laboratory
Talk of Isam Shahrour at Science Po, Paris TEDx - Let's build Smart Cities for a Smart World
1. Let’s build Smart Cities for a
Talk of Isam Shahrour at Sciences Po Paris.
November 13, 2015.
2. I would like to share with you one of the
most vibrating experience in my life,
which concerns Smart Cities.
3. Very young, I had a big dream to become an
I wanted to re-build my house, and build my
4. At the age of 14, I had to leave my home town Tulkarem to Amman in
Jordan. With a scholarship, I came to France. First of all, at the
University Lille1 in the North of France and then at the School of Civil
Engineering “Ponts et Chaussées” in Paris.
5. Excited by the field of civil engineering, I joined the
University Lille1 as a faculty member to work in the
challenging field of “complex constructions in civil
First I focused on constructions, and later on the
interaction of constructions with urban environment.
6. In 2007, I was elected Vice President research of the University Lille 1,
one of the major universities in France in the field of Science and
I worked during 5 years on large scale and multidisciplinary research
I was also involved in the territorial socio-economic development
via, research, innovation and digital technology.
In 2011, I had a turning point in my career. I launched a new research
topic, that combines Urban Engineering, sustainability and digital
technology, which resulted in a large scale project concerning
“Smart Grid” and latter on “Smart Cities”.
8. I have been fascinated by this new topic: we have to be
attentive to the City, which is the Center of the world
With reference to Shakespeare “What is the city but the
people?” we have to be attentive to people, which
constitutes for me one of the highest value.
9. Today the city has a major role.
It accounts for 80 % of the world economic activity.
It is responsible for 80% of the greenhouse emission,
which is one of the largest challenge of our planet.
If we want to reduce the greenhouse emission, we
have to focus on the City.
12. The City has similarities with biological system
13. Many large cities operate with urban networks
which were designed for small cities, with
Imagine an adult who lives with the cardio-vascular
system of a child.
15. The City suffers also from high pollution, which
kills every year around 7 millions of inhabitants
and form increasing floods and natural disasters.
16. Suffer from the absence of urban services:
• 1 billon do not have access to drinking water.
• 2.5 billons do not have access to sewage service.
• Around 1 billion still live in slums.
17. The situation of the City is critical:
The City should be transformed to meet today’s and
In a crisis period, we have to be innovative, we have
to thing outside the box.
The question is how the digital revolution could help
us to overcome the City crisis.
18. The digital revolution combines:
• The internet, which enables people to access to billions of devices,
• the social networks which allows large and real time connection
around the world
• The mobile revolution, which allow connection from every where.
19. Smart sensors
• Analyze data
The internet of things extended connection to objects.
• Every object could be identified and connected to other objects.
• With the smart sensors, objects become intelligent, they can
measure, store, analyze, communicate and take actions.
20. • See
Digital technology allows to follow urban infrastructures.
We can see what happens, analyze the data to understand and to
improve both the security and efficiency of infrastructures and related
21. Thanks to this technology, the buried
infrastructures become visible.
When we see things, we make progress.
22. Steve Jobs:
Technology alone is not
It’s technology married with liberal
arts; married with humanities, that
yields us the results that make our
23. In the city, we have to associate the digital
technology to the collective intelligence.
24. We wanted to learn from large a scale
In the early 2011, the Smart City concept was new.
That’s why we started the construction of the large
scale Smart City demonstrator (SunRise) in order to
learn about this new concept.
25. The SunRise demonstrator was built on the Scientific
campus in the North of France, which is equivalent to a
town of 25000 inhabitants.
It includes around 100 km of urban infrastructure.
26. We worked with local authorities, water and energy
providers, start-ups and a high number of Master Degree
and PhD students.
29. SunRise has become a major Smart City project:
• In the ppriorities of the 3rd industrial revolution “Nord Pas de Calais”
• In the priorities of the region-state strategic plan
• European demonstrator “SmartWater4Europe”
• Demonstrator of the international association W-Smart
30. We have leaned that:
2) The Smart City is an effective
1) The collective intelligence allows us to overcome the
lack of resources.
31. For less developed countries, the Smart City allows to:
• Reduce construction and operating costs.
• Enhance sustainability implementation
• Improve education and capacity building.
32. Young, I had a dream to become an engineer,
and I became an engineer.
Today, my dream is to build Smart Cities. I hope
that I could build Smart Cities across the world.
I invite all of you to share this dream to build
Smart Cities for a Smart World.