By Lahiru Pothmulla
The LBR-LBO Infrastructure Summit organised by the Lanka Business Online (LBO) will be kicked off on November 3 at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel.
LBO Founder Publisher and Director Lakshaman Bandaranayake said, the Summit is aimed at creating a platform for stake holders in the endeavor of converting Colombo as well as other cities in the island as sustainable smart cities.
He noted that Colombo has a high potential to become a global city because of its strategic location and close proximity to maritime sea routes.
“These are times that we discuss on possible monorail projects to ease congestion in Colombo. We will have a number of speakers at the summit to articulate on how we do this among other themes. Sustainable development, public policies, the need and how we should connect Colombo, the commercial capital with other provincial cities and high-speed expressways are some of the thought provoking areas that as a country we should look at and will be discussed at the forum,” he said.
The Summit which will hold its opening sessions on November 3, will proceed for it second day with the input of over 25 local and international industry representatives, technologists, investors and financial intermediaries, development experts, policy makers, researchers and academics.
The five sessions will be held under the themes of Cities Of The Future: What Do They Look Like, How Do We Build Them?, Making Colombo a Global City; Opportunities and Challenges, Investment Strategies and Business Models for Building a Global City, Creating a World Class Transportation System in Colombo and Reimagining Cities Through Technology.
Sumila Gulyani, World Bank’s global lead for urban development strategy and analytics, Prof. Willie Mendis, Prof. Amal Kumarage, Prof. P K S Mahanama, Dr Lalithsiri Gunaruwan, Nayana Mawilmada, Director General of the Urban Development Authority (UDA) and Yasushi Taira of JICA are some of the speakers who will be conducting sessions at the Summit.
Bandarnayake said attendees from government departments and the private sector involved in infrastructure design and development, multilateral and bilateral lending agencies, environmentalists, housing and real estate developers, town planners, architects and those from technology and financial services were expected to take part in the summit.
Meanwhile, Strategic Account Head of MillenniumIT Roshan De Silva emphasized on their companies involvement in the Summit and how they have been contributing in the infrastructure development project in various sectors such as banking, manufacturing and airline sectors.
He also said their partner companies are involved with the projects carrying out in Songdo International Business District, a smart city in South Korea. “Smart cities are ushering in here as well,” he said.
Public Sector and Education Director of Microsoft Poojitha Rajapakse elaborated on Microsoft’s City Next project which introduces cloud technology, mobile devices, data analysis and social networks to cities to transform into smart cities. “Cloud technology helps governments to streamline its processes and helps to perform tasks efficiently. However, there are privacy issues as well as confidentiality issues using clouds for a government. But we, Microsoft provide the most secured cloud facilities,” he said.
Rajapaksa also briefed that more than 70 percent of the population of the world will be living in urban cities by the year 2020 because of the speed urbanization.
MillenniumIT and Microsoft are two main sponsors of the summit among many others.