SMART City Development
Smart cities are cities that leverage data and technology to deliver services to improve the well-being of citizens while staying sustainable. They address challenges and make improvements to functional segments of a city through a network of connectivity across systems, devices and objects (known as the Internet of Things). It is predicted that there will be at least 88 smart cities worldwide by 2025, and Asia-Pacific will account for 32 of them. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set 17 goals and 169 targets relating to international development and have the development of smart cities as a principal focus. The on-going attention given to sustainable living on a worldwide scale thrust the Smart City development and agenda into a sharper focus more than ever before.
The United Nations World Urbanisation Prospects (2018) reported that 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050, and Africa and Asia will be the fastest-growing continents. Already home to 55 percent of the world’s urban population, Asia will see this proportion expanding to 64 percent by 2050. Within the Asia-Pacific region, Tokyo is the world’s largest city with an agglomeration of 37 million inhabitants, followed by Delhi with 29 million, Shanghai with 26 million and Mumbai, Beijing and Dhaka all have close to 20 million inhabitants. Managing urban areas and building sustainable cities has become one of the most important development challenges of the 21st century. As such, the focus on developing smart cities have gained momentum due to increased urbanisation and rising global pressures to remain economically viable in the face of scarce resources.
Given such a context, the CITBA seeks to engage researchers and practitioners in various aspects of Smart City development and challenges that focus on the following:
- Diverse approaches and mechanisms customized in a country’s developmental context, towards smart city development that are in line with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Types of business opportunities for companies looking to tap into emerging market segments – especially in the areas of digital government services, efficient energy use and renewables, water and waste management (e.g. plastic waste management), transportation, education and healthcare.
- Smart Cities are investing more money and resources into security, while tech companies are creating solutions with new built-in mechanisms to protect against hacking and cyber-crimes. As IoT and sensor technology use expands, so does the threat level to security. This begs the question - is technology really considered “smart” if hackers can break into it and shut down an entire city?
- Challenges faced in smart city adoption, development and implementation – these might entail cities to leverage on the key enablers such as training and education, viable funding mechanism and collaborative partnership, and strong emphasis to enhance digital infrastructure and systems.
- Issue of social inclusion: Smart transit programs that give riders real-time updates are a great idea for a bustling city. But what if half the population of that city cannot afford to take mass transit or Uber? What about a growing elderly population that does not use mobile devices or apps? How will smart technology reach and benefit these groups of people?
- The roles played by MNCs and SMEs in helping to solve challenges pertaining to smart city development as well as private-public partnership with research institutions and institutions of higher learning.
- What is the role of human capital in the Smart City development goals? What are the types of platform for learning, experience and exchange that can be created to strengthen dialogues and exchanges in smart city development and create opportunities for business partnerships and collaborations?
- Smart cities lacks a systematic understanding of the different components of smart city governance, the metrics to measure these components, their envisaged outcomes and potential contextual factors influencing both components as well as outcomes. The lack of appropriate governance arrangements for the majority of cities appears to constitute the most serious obstacle for their effective transformation into being smart.
- Suggested framework to guide cities from the formulation of action plan, to actual implementation of smart city strategies. A framework is useful and important in guiding the cities with application and implementation of urban data and technology, as cities share the vision towards economic growth, sustainable environment and high quality of life for their people.
- The transformation into a smart city requires more than investment and access to capital; it needs appropriate design and technology standardisation, along with planning and collaboration across departments and industries.
For further information on the Smart City Development and Challenges research being conducted by CITBA please contact Dr. Caroline Wong at email@example.com