Smart city initiatives in Asia are building the future for better quality of life in the region, according to MIT Technology Review

Smart city initiatives in Asia are building the future for better quality of life in the region, according to MIT Technology Review
This is the conclusion of MIT Technology Review’s latest report in collaboration with global media and digital marketing communications leader, Dentsu Aegis Network. The report, Connectivity and QoL looks at how digital consumer habits and ubiquitous technology are driving smart city development in Asia Pacific. 
The report is based on extensive in-market research efforts across eight key markets in the region – Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. It includes some two dozen in-depth interviews with senior executives in the economic development, communications services, information technology, and advertising and media industries. Key findings include:
       Asian governments and businesses are in many ways more willing to invest in experimental models that exploit new technologies, business models, and urban planning design, with “anchor” service sectors such as health care that can serve wider communities. 
       Municipal governments in Asia are engaging the private sector in uniquely collaborative ways to build smart cities, based on a ‘value exchange’ where firms can meet their own branding and marketing objectives, while still contributing to the efficiency and quality of public service delivery.
       Leading Asian technology firms such as China’s Alibaba or Japan’s Panasonic are also using smart cities as R&D platforms, to experiment with new technologies - such as big data analytics or IoT and business models.  
       Smart cities in Asia still face some development challenges:  “greenfield” smart cities with no established commercial or social infrastructure often suffer from a lack of people willing to live in them, while making existing cities ‘smarter’ can prove extremely complex.
       Yet, concurrently pursuing both “green-” and “brown”-field initiatives means that economies in Asia will be able to develop urban environments which are more compelling for their current and future knowledge workers. 
Examining the smart city efforts of eight Asian economies, the report found several best practices emerging in specific markets, including: 
       Leveraging the cloud: Cloud computing infrastructure that enables fast and cost-effective application development is an essential foundation for smart cities is being developed regionally, particularly Mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and increasingly India.
       Creating “open” ecosystems: Sydney, Australia, has been a leader in the promotion of public data as a common resource for smart city developers, as has Singapore. 
       Consumer-driven application development: Creating open “sandbox” environments is a key to creating and prototyping applications that a city’s residents would find useful, many involving existing services like public transportation “powered” by advertising.
       IoT and sensor-based platforms: Established technology and device exporters such as Korea, Japan, and Taiwan are investing heavily in sensor- and device-based management to detect leaks, theft, or security breaches and to facilitate better, more personalized services for all consumers. 
       Cashless economies: Efforts to migrate transaction payment to mobile platforms or frictionless card- or chip-based applications are emerging in Singapore, Taiwan, and India, and are growing particularly fast in China, driven by pervasive and powerful social media applications like WeChat. 
Download full report here:

October 24th, 2017

Cities in the Asia Pacific region have served as the catalysts for economic growth. Asia’s economies have grown at roughly twice the speed of the rest of the world for nearly a quarter-century, through strong coordination of government and business agendas around regional and global trade, focused infrastructure investments, and a willingness to adopt leading-edge technologies.
Asian cities grew by nearly one billion people between 1995 and 2015 - more than all other regions in the world combined. Urban growth has also brought challenges; fast-expanding cities have strained transportation systems, power and sanitation infrastructure are particularly problematic in Asia’s poorer cities. Increased energy consumption, deforestation and car ownership in the region has turned Asia into the world’s largest contributor to greenhouse gas levels. 
These challenges mean that, just as Asian cities have been critical platforms for accelerating economic growth, they are also serving as the region’s crucible for innovation on sustainable growth. A report by MIT Technology Review in collaboration with Dentsu Aegis Network, “Connectivity and QoL”, states that increasingly, smart city initiatives in Asia are being developed and driven to improve quality of life for the region’s citizens and consumers, to manage cities’ growth sustainably, and to maintain their global competitiveness. It is based on extensive in-market research and nearly two dozen in-depth interviews with senior executives in the economic development, communications services, information technology, and advertising and media industries. The report includes eight case studies which review the smart city development efforts of eight leading economies across Asia, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. 
The need to fuse the commercial motivations of the private sector with the civic and governance responsibilities of municipal governments and the state will continue to present a coordination challenge. Smart urban spaces can become magnets for creativity, talent, and innovation, thus making them more globally competitive. Smart cities in Asia have set their sights far beyond basic efficiency gains, to increasing their overall competitiveness as an economy.
Each of the Asian economies approaches smart city development with a unique mix of policies and “natural resources” - technology sector talent, existing industry clusters, and communications and Internet infrastructure assets. 
“While no two Asia Pacific markets have the exact same mix of smart city strategies or "assets", we have found that nearly all such projects attempt to use smart cities to serve two goals simultaneously: address immediate infrastructure or service delivery challenges while “future-proofing” their economies against threats looming on the horizon,” says Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau, CEO and Publisher at MIT Technology Review. She adds:
“Asia’s most innovative smart city efforts also open themselves up to collaboration with the private sector to not only address these issues but to create exportable technologies and applications.”
The opportunities to be found in testing and refining concepts - in part to “export” successful ones to other markets - adds to the natural gravitational pull of cities rich in technology businesses, such as Shenzhen, Seoul, or Bangalore.

But the greater opportunity for enterprises and consumers in Asian cities lies in the larger ecosystem of connectivity and collaboration created by the platforms and applications that smart cities make possible. Using ubiquitous mobile broadband networks, frictionless payment systems, and deep analytics fueled by cloud computing, brand owners and marketers, it can engage consumers in ways that make cities more sustainable, and city life more equitable, for everyone. 

For the LATEST tech updates,
FOLLOW us on our Twitter
LIKE us on our FaceBook
SUBSCRIBE to us on our YouTube Channel!
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment