SMART & GREEN World – global smart cities

The UN estimates that by 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Each week, 1.5 million people move to a city all over the world. According to the Smart City inauguration index by IMD, Singapore is the smartest city in the world.

Singapore as a smart city

According to the Smart City inauguration index by IMD, Singapore is the smartest city in the world. Its Smart Nation initiative was launched in 2014 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and three years later, it benefited from a government subsidy of SGD 2.4 billion (an equivalent of USD 1.73 billion at that time). The aim is to create a city driven by digital innovations and technologies, which respond to the ever-changing needs of its inhabitants.

5 ways how Singapore transforms its urban landscape

1. Mobility as a shared community experience

Land is precious in densely-populated Singapore, where only 12% is set aside for transport infrastructure. To help optimize transport and traffic, public data or open data are used for testing to facilitate transport planning. Traffic information is gathered from sensors installed in more than 5,000 vehicles and buses are monitored in real time. The result? Contact-less payments are used to make payments and movements of 7.5 million travellers who use public transport every day easier. These are just some of the transport-related projects in Singapore. The city also implements Smart Mobility 2020 initiative, a joint venture between Singapore Land Transport Authority and Singapore Society for Smart Transport. The Travel Smart Programme aims to re-distribute morning peak hour rail travel demand in three ways: to motivate inhabitants to rethink: how they commute once they commute (for example decide to ride a bike) and reduce the frequency of commute (supporting remote work).

2. Healthier inhabitants

By 2050, 47% of Singapore inhabitants will be 65 or older . To reduce the pressure of the ageing population on healthcare services, Singapore digitized its healthcare systems. TeleHealth video consultations offer online meetings when face-to-face appointments are not possible and TeleRehab allows patients to exercise in their own at-home facility, Internet of Things (IoT), which monitors patient flows and send data to therapists through wireless network. Robotics help relieve loneliness of the ageing population in Singapore. How is it possible? Chatbots using artificial intelligence (AI) talk to the elderly , inform them about community activities and integrate messages that support healthy lifestyle. Smart Elderly Alert system run by AI monitors and learns with regular movement of people, alerts the caregiver in case something irregular happens and when urgent care may be needed. 3. There is an app for that

3. There is an app for that

This phrase has become increasingly popular, as the use of smartphones has intensified and Singapore couldn’t be a better example, as it is estimated that 90% of its population own smartphones. Through the Smart Nation system, citizens can report general problems, welcome self-driving vehicles, receive environmental alerts linked to a specific location related to the quality of air, temperature and rain, monitor the energy consumption of smart meters and access information adapted to young families and older citizens - all that through a network of mobile apps.

4. Supporting business

Singapore’s digital neighbourhood of Punggol connects Singapore Technical Institute with a business park. The aim of this neighbourhood is to support development in the area of cybersecurity and technologies of the Internet of Things by facilitating better integration between industry and academia. To support transparent business interactions, cooperation in the area of sharing data, Data Innovation Programme Office has been created. Companies which do business directly with the government can now do it through CorpPass, an online centre which improves what is called cyber hygiene.

5. Learning to be smart

Singapore uses artificial intelligence for education through the TechSkills Accelerator programme. Two initiatives - AI for all and AI for industry managed by AI Singapore - will improve the AI proficiency of 12,000 professionals and students. These initiatives motivate citizens to be a part of change to make the city digitally-ready and to proactively stand at the forefront of the movement. The city also has a digital national identity system, Smart National Sensor Platform, and virtual Singapore -3D digital city model that can launch simulations and support future planning, to name just a few hi-tech innovations.