According to IMD 2021, Singapore ranked first globally on the Smart City Index for the second consecutive year based on economic and technological data, and citizens’ perceptions of how “smart” their cities are.
Faced with the challenges of land scarcity, no natural resources, and a rising carbon footprint, Singapore continues innovating and employs technology extensively. Without natural resources, Singapore is vulnerable and reliant on other countries. As a result, capitalising on their human resources and innovation becomes essential.
The Smart Nation initiatives were launched by Singapore Government in 2014 with the aim to harness digital innovation and technologies, such as networks and big data, to create tech-enabled solutions. Technology can be deployed to tackle urban challenges (e.g. congestions, economic restructuring, climate change), improve the economy’s productivity, increase convenience for citizens’ lives, and allow Singapore to be a city to live, work in, and offers exciting opportunities for all.
Climate change has placed pressure on Singapore to integrate its smart city solutions with sustainability initiatives. Such initiatives include implementing over a thousand data sensors in sustainability, urban mobility, and improving sensing and situational awareness at Jurong Lake District, where most of Singapore’s state-of-the-art smart city ideas are tested.
uClim, a web-based service that grants city planners, engineers, and architects access to real-time environmental data such as humidity, enables them to detect microclimates. In addition, the IoT@Home initiative collaborates with the private sector to develop open standards and architecture to enable the creation of Internet of Things applications for homes in the areas of wellness, home-based care, active ageing, and sustainable living.
Other examples which are apparent in public sectors include citizens being able to readily access their health records, buy and register a car, sell real estate, file taxes, and pay bills via an online portal at their convenience with no paper waste. That raises the issues of data privacy and cybersecurity.
With the recent commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, it is safe to say that more smart city solutions incorporating sustainability initiatives are on the way. Can these initiatives make a difference to the country’s sustainability?
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