Getting to stay at a hotel that was crafted using the software of the host company is a really exciting experience. The Bentley 2017 Year in Infrastructure thought leadership event is held at the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel, in Singapore, a marvel of architecture made possible in large part by Bentley software.
Whenever a host city is chosen for a Bentley event, it is chosen based upon that region’s commitment to infrastructure. For many years I’ve attended the Year in Infrastructure events and this one is no different in honoring the geographic region that presents a great deal of industry and innovation in infrastructure. The event showcases finalists and winners in the annual Bentley Be Inspired Awards, that demonstrate excellence in all aspects of infrastructure and land planning – from roads and bridges, utilities, rail, reality modeling and much more.
There are other Be Inspired Award finalist buildings dotted around the bay that also reflect the creative use of Bentley software, and help define the Singapore skyline.
Why are so many of these ambitious projects clustered in one city/state/country? In opening comments yesterday, Chris Barron of Bentley remarked, “The center of gravity for infrastructure is in Asia. One-half of our finalists this year are from Asia.”
While Singapore is a thriving city metropolis, it is also a small nation. It may be one of the first countries to take a leap into being a “smart nation,” far beyond the ambitions of the “smart city.”
There is a stark difference between the Singapore we see today and eight years ago when the Marina Bay Sands Hotel was built. The center of the 720-square-meter island was essentially seawater, and needed to be built up with many tons of soil shipped in to support the ambitious structures that would eventually make up the profile and economy of this city/state/country.
This is where geospatial comes in, and it is indelibly woven into the fabric of how the island came to support such structures and new economic growth. In Bentley’s world view, geospatial is a part of the whole, and it is a part of all the utilities, road, rail and construction offerings as it must be part of the projects themselves.