Holistic master plans and cost effectiveness are keys to success for ASEAN smart cities

Surbana Jurong GCEO Wong Heang Fine (2nd from right) speaking at a panel discussion at the 2018 ASEAN Business and Investment Summit. Other members of the panel were (from left) Mr Khoo Teng Chye, Executive Director, Centre for Liveable Cities; Mr Nguyen Nho Trung, Chairman, Da Nang People’s Council; Mr Seth Tan, Executive Director, Infrastructure Asia; and Mr Taro Fujimoto, Secretary of Japanese Committee on ISO Smart Community Infrastructure Metrics.

With the development of smart and sustainable urban solutions as a key agenda for ASEAN countries, Surbana Jurong Group CEO Wong Heang Fine was invited to contribute his views on the topic at the 2018 ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) on 12 November 2018. ABIS was organised in conjunction with the 33rd ASEAN Summit held in Singapore from 11 to 15 November 2018.

Speaking at a panel discussion entitled “Collaboration towards a smart and sustainable urban development”, Mr Wong said it was important for ASEAN countries to have holistic master plans in place for how they would like to develop smart or sustainable cities. He added that governments could also better leverage the fast-evolving technologies to equip cities to be future-ready.

Responding to a question on how national-level and city-level governments can better attract the private sector to work on smart city projects, he suggested that governments should simplify their structure and form common committees or single platforms to review projects, to ensure timely approvals and execution. Governments can also look at projects on a collective basis, to help minimise the financing risks faced by standalone projects.

He also advised that cities should evaluate the use of technology to ensure they are cost-effective for residents. Surbana Jurong is a strong supporter of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network which was formed to provide greater collaboration and capacity-building among ASEAN cities to achieve smart and sustainable urban development.

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