Forest City and UNSW Sydney Join Hands to Explore Future Development of Smart City

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University of South Wales Australia delegation led by Dean of the faculty of Built Environment , Professor Helen Lochhead (3rd from left) and Forest City management representatives photographed together with Jimmy Puah (middle) at MoU signing ceremony in Forest City

Forest City and UNSW Sydney have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote the development of smart cities in Malaysian communities. It is the first time Forest City will collaborate with a world-leading academic institution on the concept of a smart city.

UNSW Dean of Built Environment Professor Helen Lochhead attended the ceremony in Johor Bahru with UNSW Professor Sisi Zlatanova, Head of Geospatial, Research, Innovation and Development and Professor Christopher Pettit from the UNSW City Futures Research Centre.

“The Faculty has always been committed to the design and development of future cities that are people-oriented, healthy, connected, sustainable, smart, and above all liveable,” said Professor Lochhead. “We are delighted to see that Forest City shares the same vision. As a pioneer in the development of smart cities, Forest City is a valuable and practical case study for our research,” he continued.

Executives of Forest City presented at the ceremony, included Ir. Hj. Syarul Izam bin Hj. Sarifudin, Deputy General Manager, Dato’ Ong Chong Yi, Assistant General Manager, and Liu Chenggang, General Manager of Smart City Development Department.

“It is a great honour for Forest City to join hands with UNSW,” said Hj. Izam. “We hope to leverage the powerful research capabilities of one of the world’s top research-intensive universities to promote the development of smart technologies and innovations of smart cities.”

Jimmy Puah, Johor International Trade, Investment and Utility Committee Chairman was also present and believes UNSW’s world-class research capabilities will contribute to technology innovation in Malaysia, with Forest City as an excellent showcase.

University of South Wales represented by Professor Helen Lochhead and Forest City represented by Ir. Hj. Syarul Izam Bin Hj. Sarifudin signing the MoU witnessed by Jimmy Puah

During the discussion, Dr. Zhou Wei, Deputy General Manager of Smart City Development, introduced Forest City’s “Smart B.I.A” system to the University. This smart system was awarded fifth place in the IDC Smart City Asia Pacific Awards in July 2019 for integrating new technologies.

“Forest City is not only a unique example of smart city but it has the potential to become the first true Digital Twin of a Real City. I find it exciting to discuss research topics related to BIM data management and innovative City Applications with the highly qualified information management team of Forest City,” said Professor Sisi Zlatanova.

Professor Christopher Pettit agreed that Forest City as a city-industry integrated project has incorporated various city-level data such as residential, industrial and municipal infrastructure. In the era of Smart City 3.0, digital technologies can add value to city shaping processes and enhance living environment in the way of creating data-assisted analytics, models and simulations.

Since the beginning, Forest City was built with the vision to be a world leading smart and green industry-integrated city, with advanced city planning and comprehensive application of smart technologies. Forest City has previously partnered with various international universities, such as Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, and University Putra Malaysia. As an international cooperation and exchange platform, Forest City will bring together the world-class research resources and boost innovations for future development.