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​Unlocking the Potential of Dakar

A Transformation towards a Smart, Sustainable, Inclusive, Resilient and Prosperous City

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The city of Dakar is among the four the African cities covered in this book. Aa smart city is viewed as a sustainable, inclusive and prosperous city that promotes a people-centric approach based on three core components - Smart City Foundation, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Smart Institutions and Laws. These three core components are the pillars of the seven dimensions of a smart city: Infrastructure Development, Environmental Sustainability, Social Development, Social Inclusion, Disasters Exposure, Resilience, and Peace and Security. The collective of these components and dimensions determine a Smart City Economy.Read more

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The Dakar's case study is based on four chapters:

  • Smart City Foundation—Driver of Smart Cities

  • Smart Infrastructure Development Makes Smart Cities—Promoting Smart Transport and ICT in Dakar

  • Smart Social Development Key for Smart Economy

  • ​Creating Digital, Smart Cities for Smart Economies: From Big Cities to Digital Urban Centers

Smart City Foundation—Driver of Smart Cities​

​During these past two centuries of growth of the agglomeration of Dakar, urban planning has served as a tool of social exclusion with poor living in unplanned wetland settlements characterized by lack of sufficient land allocated to streets and public spaces, and lack of security of tenure; the latter being the focus of the second section. These settlements are also characterized by insufficient coverage of basic infrastructure such as connection to piped water facilities, sewerage and drainage systems, energy source and solid management; this is analysed in the third section. Building in unplanned wetlands without adequate drainage systems expose the population of Dakar, particularly of the suburbs, to flooding that cause various material and financial damages and losses. The fourth section focuses on the flooding: occurrences, causes, consequences and responses. Read more.

​For a city foundation to be smart, it must be inclusive at the onset of the urban planning and promotes mixed neighborhoods where social clustering is discouraged. The chapter’s first section analyses the planning of the city of Dakar, an agglomeration of 3.2 million people in 2015.

Smart Infrastructure Development Makes Smart Cities—Promoting Smart Transport and ICT in Dakar​

Here, the analysis focuses on those connecting people to several categories of services, particularly transport and ICT infrastructures. The first section analyses the classical option of connecting people to services through non-motorized means or motorized means of transport. The interaction between the development of urban spatial patterns and transport is thus a key factor shaping accessibility in cities both in physical and socioeconomic terms.  In absence of affordable, reliable public transport, the poor are no choice rather walking to access to services. It is urgent to make streets friendly to pedestrians with sufficient public spaces for social interactions. Today, it is recognized that the Information & communications Technology (ICT) development is an important enabler of accessing to services and must be integrated in the planning and management of transport systems. For these past 15 years, the Senegalese government has taken various steps to create an environment favorable to the development and use of ICT at all levels. Read more

This chapter discusses the level of infrastructure development in Dakar and Senegal in general, particularly developments in ICT, energy and transport and how these are giving the city a comparative advantage against other African cities for smart growth. Read more.

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Smart Social Development Key for Smart Economy

​This chapter focuses on one of the dimensions of smart cities, the Social Development which is composed of elements of education, health, social inclusion, social capital, population dynamics, and other variables. The first section of this chapter is on Education, which is critical to meeting the challenges of
 smart city, as it connects people to new approaches, solutions and technologies that enable them to identify, clarify and tackle local and global problems. The second section on health considering that healthy population is critical to realizing economic growth through increased productivity. Healthy workers are more productive, bringing greater income to families and higher levels of economic growth for nations, and then enhance smart economy. When education and Health are combined, they contribute significantly to human development. In both dimensions, the agglomeration has Dakar as the rest of Senegal has made significant progress during these past twenty years. With the decline in fertility and mortality rates, the population of Dakar is marked by a massive youth population (with a median age of 23.2 years) that constitute a potential urban demographic dividend which is the focus of the third section. However, due to high unemployment rates, this demographic dividend has not been fully utilized; and most young people are still depend to their parents, thanks to the high social capital in Dakar as in the rest of Senegal. The last section focuses on the social capital in Dakar expressed within the family as well as in the communities through public spaces and social media. Read more.

Creating Digital, Smart Cities for Smart Economies: From Big Cities to Digital Urban Centers

This chapter presents the opportunities offered by the ICT revolution in the making of digitally connected cities, which manifests in the rise of urban centers – towns of less than 1 million people. It presents a new form of urbanization, the digital urbanization where digitally connected towns offer urban advantages traditionally only found in big cities with high densities, such as economies of scale, agglomeration of economies, diffusion of ideas and innovation, and participation to political affairs. The digital urbanization is illustrated through the initiative of the government of Senegal to create new urban centers to decongest the agglomeration of Dakar which are trapped in frequent flood disasters and continuous traffic congestion among many other urban issues. Read more.

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