Top 10 Smart Cities in Asia Pacific
In its 2018 Top 50 Smart City Governments report, the Eden Strategy Institute ranked the world’s top smart cities. Here are the top 10 APAC cities from the report.
10 – Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is in the midst of a 2020 action plan that involves the application of smart technologies to solve the real issues facing one of the world’s largest metropolises. Chief among the issues that the city seeks to resolve are traffic management and pollution. The city’s government is hard at work promoting the use of zero-emissions vehicles, and has introduced a ratings system to identify areas for improvement in the environmental sustainability of urban buildings. Tokyo is notably home to some of Japan’s most prolific tech companies.
9 – Surat, India
Surat’s progress as a smart city has seen the establishment of the Smart City Centre (SMAC) which oversees the administration of technologies around the city. Sensors and other systems autonomously collect, compile and send citywide data from each key department to the SMAC. The city aims for 10% of all electricity used to be sourced from renewables, while usage has been cut by the introduction of efficient LED street lamps. The city also employs renewable water sourcing to mitigate water waste.
8 – New Delhi, India
Amidst its transformation into a smart city, New Delhi’s residents have thus far benefitted from the launch of the 311 app, a unified platform for governmental services that enables citizens to view and amend their information, access government information, pay their taxes, raise concerns and complaints, and register birth and death certificates. Additional plans include the introduction of smart traffic technologies, cycle tracks, vertical gardens, smart poles that transmit Wi-Fi signals, as well as 3D zebra crossings.
7 – Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong’s key areas of focus for launching smart city technologies and policies include mobility, environment, people, government, economy and living. The city has a free public Wi-Fi network, smart parking sensors, unified traffic and mobility services housed within a single app, a 5G infrastructure poised for the launch of compatible smartphones, and an open data initiative to increase corporate transparency and public access to information. Over the coming years, the city will introduce electronic ID systems for all residents, an automated tolling system, and smart traffic systems to manage congestion and mitigate vehicle-related carbon emissions as a result.
6 – Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei’s citizens have so far enjoyed the introduction of smart traffic systems, smart recycling initiatives that remunerate citizens for their recycling efforts, the establishment of online training courses to increase digital literacy both within and outside the city. On top of this, the city has introduced mobility as a service programmes, automated public transport and real time air quality monitoring. Taipei places a focus on citizen participation and the fostering of close public-private ties. The aim of this focus is to facilitate corporate responsibility and positive action from the city’s top tech firms, driving technological advancement in the public sphere.
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5 – Shenzhen, China
Aiming to become a world-leading smart city by 2020, the city’s government has devised and is in the process of enacting an action plan that seeks to digitally transform education, housing, healthcare, social security, transport, and more. Shenzhen is China’s leading city for implementation of smart traffic solutions, including lights, shared mobility and parking grids. Through smart parking, Shenzhen aims to take 330,000 vehicles off the road each year, incorporating Big Data and AI to improve road safety and communications. The city is home to 11,000 tech companies, including industry giants Tencent, Huawei and DJI.
4 – Shanghai, China
Shanghai’s Citizen Cloud doubles as a mobile app, aggregating over 100 government services to make it easy for citizens to update official information, access healthcare records, find relevant local information and more. Shanghai’s array of smart technologies include cameras, sensors, and other data-gathering technologies which record masses of data. Firms can purchase this data via the Big Data Exchange Platform and subsequently develop information-based tools and services. Huawei has been heavily involved in the implementation of smart technologies in the city, namely Shanghai’s smart parking network which enables drivers to locate, book, and pay for parking spaces in real-time.
3 – Melbourne, Australia
With a focus on community-driven development, Melbourne’s CityLab offers a forum for discussion of community issues and a space to develop and test prototypes for city services. Melbourne’s citizens enjoy access to a citywide free Wi-Fi network, smart litter reduction initiatives, and 24hr pedestrian counting technology aimed at managing congestion and highlighting areas of concern for public safety. The city has deployed an open innovation competition focused on positively influencing accessibility, conducts regular hackathons to foster community-driven problem solving and the advancement of digital literacy.
2 – Seoul, South Korea
Seoul’s mayor Park Won-Soon has sought to solve the South Korean capital’s issues with pollution, limited affordable housing, traffic congestion and unsustainable population growth through citywide digital transformation initiatives. These include an array of digital education programmes to foster digital literacy within the city’s population, and the enforcement of an open data plan to ensure corporate transparency. The city established the Seoul Innovation Bureau to facilitate civic cooperation, oversee public-private relationships that drive positive corporate impacts on society at large, conduct innovation planning for citywide infrastructure, and develop active community projects.
1 – Singapore, Singapore
Singapore’s smart city project is conducted through three key pillars: digital economy, digital government, and digital society. This strategy has manifested in an array of excellent digital solutions across the city, with apps consolidating municipal services, a Virtual Singapore for collaborative planning, and the installation of smart elderly alert systems. Smart metres are joined by the gradual rollout of autonomous vehicles, contactless fare payments, a National Digital Identity service and smart sensors throughout the city to ensure an efficient and green urban landscape. Singapore is the leading example of the heights of digital excellence that can be reached through dynamic, forward-thinking city management.
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