A smart city is an urban area that utilizes technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and large information to handle its assets effectively, eventually improving the quality of life of its inhabitants.
Reduced congestion, pollution control and improved power effectiveness are just some of the many benefits of living in an intelligent town–and ASEAN now has 26 of them under its pilot initiative ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN).
But as attractive as better air quality and fewer traffic jams may be to the growing urban population of the region, it is a less common topic to bill for all these changes.
While intelligent technologies are widely commended, the public is often unaware of their elevated expenses and how ASEAN hopes to encourage smart city funding.
City councils are often left to collect the price, and the cost of setting up and keeping a costly range of sensors and monitors–and the employees to run them–is merely too prohibitive for many.
“Much intelligent city promotion assumes that municipalities will adopt a proactive, top-down, technology-first strategy to urban advancement,” said John D. Macomber, Harvard Business School’s senior lecturer in business administration.
“These initiatives so far look for some forward-thinking city official (or immensely deep-pocketed private investor) to write a large purchase order for a lot of hardware and software,” he added, calling for public-private partnerships (PPPs) to lead the way in the development of smart cities.
Thailand’s Digital Economy and Society Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj called for more PPPs at the ASEAN Smart Cities Network Roundtable Meeting in Bangkok in June and said his nation intends to attract non-ASEAN alliances and investments in intelligent town facilities as part of the ASCN.
Japan, South Korea and China were among the countries listed – all nations with comprehensive capacities and knowledge in new technologies and those with which ASEAN has already operated in technology transfer.