Smart cities: Asia’s new frontier?

Jean Chua


From London to Lahore, cities around the world are competing to be crowned as ‘the world’s smartest city’, led by a firm belief in the power of technology to make urban centres more innovative, efficient and liveable than they already are.

Nowhere is this opportunity to make cities cleaner and smarter more evident than in Asia, which is already home to 60 per cent of the planet’s people. The region’s cities, along with Africa’s, will account for 90 per cent of the increase in the world’s population from now till 2050. That’s about 2.5 billion people who will be moving to urban centres in those regions.

The smart city is hailed as a way for urban planners to acommodate this growth sustainably.The services and infrastructure around it has grown to a multi-billlion dollar industry in Asia alone.

According to a report by market research firm Navigant Research, investment in smart city information and communication technology (ICT) in Asia Pacific will total US$63.4 billion during the period from 2014 to 2023.

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