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Social Innovation

StartUp My City

As cities grow and develop rapidly, citizens are demanding more efficiency with better services and an improved quality of life. This has driven governments to focus on building smarter and more sustainable cities which are powered by the technological developments that can enable them.

Which cities in ASEAN are poised to become smart and sustainable cities and how do they compare with their Asia-Pacific peers?

About Startup My City

About StartUp My City

Startup My City: Smart and sustainable cities in Asia is a research programme from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) sponsored by Hitachi, which examines sustainable and smart city initiatives in 20 cities across ASEAN and Asia-Pacific. Read More

Briefing Paper

Startup My City : Smart and sustainable cities in Asia
Briefing Paper

The concept of what constitutes a smart city is vague, and ranges from a narrow definition of technology to one that considers quality of life more broadly across a range of areas, such as education, the environment, safety and governance. Hence, this report uses the terms smart city and technology-led development interchangeably.

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How smart is your city

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The Economist Intelligence Unit

The city-state of Singapore is frequently considered among the world’s smartest cities by experts such as Boyd Cohen and media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal. Unsurprisingly then, all five advisory board members selected Singapore as a smart city in Asia-Pacific. The underlying reason for selecting Singapore, however, varied although that is also an indication of the city-state’s many initiatives in place. This is underscored by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) Smart Nation vision whose tagline is “Many smart ideas; one smart nation.”

One reason for Singapore’s success – according to all advisory board participants and evidenced through research reports – is the city-state’s leadership in making high-speed broadband widely available and in encouraging its adoption. According to an EIU report, Singapore had over 95% household coverage with an adoption rate of 46% in 2014. Equally it was second in the world in mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in the same year, according to the International Telecommunications Union. At the same time, it is at the forefront in a number of smart city initiatives. In 2016, for instance, it allowed nuTonomy, an American start-up that provides software for driverless cars, to experiment with self-driving taxis. Almost two-thirds (63%) of residents in the EIU survey also recognize their city-state is smart today, mostly due to initiatives to improve the environment and provide safety and security.