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10 June 2020

Future-proofing a city: Why air transport is key

A transition towards technological based solutions

Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. This figure is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. The human shift from rural to urban areas, combined with the overall growth of the world’s population, could add another 2.5 billion people to urban areas by 2050.

The scale and rapid speed of urbanisation is a grand challenge of the 21st century. Finding solutions to this escalating issue is prompting governments, communities and businesses to think holistically about how, infrastructure, transport, and health and wellbeing will remain key priorities of future city planning.

Technology is changing the way people live, work and interact with each other. As a result, cities are undergoing an unprecedented technological-based transformation. Cities that currently have existing infrastructure, and a strategy to manage this rapid technological shift, are set to become the most competitive, sustainable and human-centric locales. For example, in 2018, Melbourne was ranked number 17 on the JLL Momentum Index Future Proofing Cities, which highlighted the city’s position as an innovative, resilient economy.

How to future-proof a system?

The term ‘future-proofing’ refers to the process of anticipating the future, and developing strategies to minimise the negative impact and stresses of future events such as the one we are witnessing: a global pandemic. Key elements of future-proofing include the ability to drive and manage technological change; infrastructure that contributes to a high quality of life; a long-term city vision, and attracting and retaining talent to boost economic growth.

Some future-proofing strategies include:

As defined under the Smart Cities Framework, the integration of technology within basic municipal structures throughout the city serves to increase the operational efficiencies of public goods and reorient governmental policy towards an outcomes-based model for key stakeholders; people, businesses, non-governmental organisations, healthcare providers and policy makers. The smart city fosters speed, resilience and agility; when a global public health event erupts, the technologically advanced system enables a fast response time so that more lives are saved, less disruption is caused to the broader context, and smaller fiscal rescue packages are needed to stabilise the economy.

Agility is the key to promote sustainable healthcare and wellbeing

The most future-proof cities are agile and adaptive. These urban areas have the strategies and infrastructure to adapt to population growth, fluctuations in demand, and unforeseen events, while maintaining a high quality of life for citizens’. The integration of air logistics alongside traditional transport methods, and operated as a single network, provides an opportunity to transform the supply chain, and future proof the provision and accessibility of essential supplies in times of crisis. The Swoop Aero solution remains agile in both design and applicability to optimise the health outcome of communities, provide for the elderly, and enable fast response times when a public health emergency arises

The Swoop Aero aeromedical logistics service is able to successfully future-proof the healthcare supply chain to ensure faster delivery times, more equitable provision of healthcare supplies across an expansive geographical locale, and a smarter, environmentally sustainable alternative to the existing on-ground transportation methods of healthcare supply delivery. Moreover, the use of drones as a method of medical commodity transportation reduces the need for human input within the supply chain and alleviates the potential of mass community contagion. The scaling up of these networks across urban and rural geographies connects communities to important services without requiring the extensive infrastructure spending of conventional logistics networks, and underpins the notion of convenience which remains at the heart of our consumer based culture. COVID19 has only served to highlight the need and importance of the Swoop Aero aeromedical logistics service to overcome existing infrastructural, logistics and geographical challenges, and help build a resilient health supply chain in the face of future global public health events.

Concluding Remarks

Future-proofing strategies will become increasingly critical for accommodating the global boom in urban populations, as well as the ongoing technological change that is transforming how we live, work and interact with each other. Competitiveness, economic drive, and prosperity, underpinned by reliable infrastructure, robust government policies and technological prowess, is key to preserving a city’s value as a hub for the community, and future prosperity.

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