Interview with Dr. Mohammadreza Nilforoushan, the President of New Technology Center of Isfahan Municipality
1- How do you see the prospect of new technologies in sustainable development of a smart city?
The purpose is to minimize urban problems and direct urban development to the right place in order to provide optimum conditions the citizens deserve. Under the circumstances in which urban development and the changes made thereof give rise to various challenges in social, physical, economic and environmental dimensions within the major cities, and in situations where these challenges have given the citizens and the urban managers a hard time, a new perspective is envisaged for urban living which everyone is responsible for making it happen. In this urban perspective, the smart cities are placed at the highest level to provide the optimum conditions. New tools with amazing capabilities and information about urban operations helping prompt and timely decision makings, reducing the distance between the service providers and receivers, minimizing the motivations for physical movement, etc., are promising for considerable contributions of such technologies in minimizing and solving the urban problems. What makes an important element of the urban perspective today, is the urban intelligence called a "smart city" or "e-city".
2- What is the position of the urban managers in utilizing new technologies for sustainable development of Isfahan and how can they affect speeding up such technologies?
Since the current century is promising for a lot of changes, complexities and rivalries, every organization requires constant and fundamental improvement to achieve growth and competitive advantage. Accordingly, the managers need to institutionalize the innovation as quality and productivity and also as a strategic principle through an organization. Studies have shown that the innovation in organizations is one of the major incentives for competitiveness and development. The studies have also shown that interaction, leadership, communication, knowledge, integrity, organizational support and motivation are considered to have significant influences on innovation, and the managers, as influential supporters, play vital roles in accelerating the innovation knowledge.
3- Considering the fact that Isfahan is of a great importance, both historically and culturally, and it has been registered globally as the Cultural Capital of the Islamic World, the World City of Handicrafts as well as the Creative City, what role the new technologies can play?
The concept of new technologies is not just for environmental issues, traffic, earthquake-resistant constructions, etc., but it is the necessity of utilizing such technologies for preserving such invaluable works as Chaharbagh School, Allahverdi Khan Bridge, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, etc., which need to be preserved with all scientific and professional power for the future generations. For example, the portal of Qtbyh Mosque has been from Tahmasp I period which was located in the middle of the street and transferred to the southern part of Chehel Sotoun Palace (literally, Forty Columns Palace) by the eminent qualified architects and engineers using the knowledge of the new technologies of their own times. So, the knowledge of the technology can play a critical role in all sciences during all eras. We were once pioneers in science and technology in the world. The scientists such as Avicenna, Sheikh Bahai, Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi, and … were pioneers of new science in the world. A great number of buildings such as Atigh Jame' Mosque, Khaju Bridge, and Allahverdi Khan Bridge are amongst the world architectural masterpieces, the latest scientific technologies of their own times have been utilized in their constructions.
4- How can new technologies affect monitoring and eliminating traffic?
The citizens spend a lot of time for shopping and waiting in traffic jams. New technologies are one of the most important tools for proper management of all economic, social, cultural and political units. In an e-city, the citizens can access public and private sector database online 24 hours a day. The use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) plays an important role in resolving the traffic issues. Traffic is defined as an increase in commutes within a limited area of urban roads. So, what are the origins of the commutes and the vehicles? We commute to various departments for different purposes. When we multiply such commutes by the number of the departments and clients, a large figure is obtained which is equal to the same increasing volume of traffic on the streets, and this increasing volume will be unbearable when the client referrals are repeatedly occurred due to different bureaucratic reasons. At this time, taking into account the e-government and its development in order to eliminate the traffic will be standing out.
5- What do you suggest as for the interactive solutions between Isfahan Municipality and knowledge-based companies?
At a time when we are at the highest point of divergence and specialization of the sciences, a convergence is required. For example, if someone is going to propose an appropriate plan, he/she needs to know well the architectural technology besides the architecture and engineering. Just in this case, we will achieve the interface between the two specializations. In other words, for all sciences we require the convergence of science and knowledge areas.
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