Southeast Asia is home to some of the fastest growing cities in the world. With the increasing efforts of the region's governments and organizations, cities are becoming better equipped, connected and accessible to the people.
These rapid improvements made are growing smart cities that can now compete with the best smart cities across the globe! Every city has it's strength and weaknesses, giving the definition of smart cities different meanings. The basis of it though consist of access to infrastructure, a healthy public transport system, an education system that keep citizens aware and motivated, and environmentally friendly systems form a sound framework.
Additionally, prompt connectivity based on digital elements, like IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), and big data, is significant.
Among the world's top smart cities, Singapore ranks sixth, topping Toronto and Amsterdam. It is the crown jewel smart city of Southeast Asia. Singapore's strongest point is its government's determination to create a tech-oriented and accessible legislation and its access to high amounts of investment in smart city infrastructure. IDC data reveals that Singapore's government IT spending is among the highest within ASEAN countries.
The Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC) and the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development (DHSHD) has come up with a 25-year urban development plan to achieve the smart city goals of Myanmar's second largest city, Mandalay.
The project plans to develop Mandalay's water supply system, wastewater treatment, and solid waste management. The city aims to become a zero waste, zero emissions, and a resource-efficient society.
Thailand's government has reportedly invested $13 million so far into it's smart city pilot project to achieve a digitally powered ecosystem. The programme is projected to bring 4.5% growth to the Phuket economy in the next five years.
The fifth largest Vietnamese city, Danang, has plans for a smart ICT infrastructure by 2020. Danang is focusing on making itself environment-friendly within the next two years, for which it is working to spread awareness and improve urban management.
The city has been improving urban development through continuous integration of modes of transport, bringing about affordable mobility, and changing the urban landscape of the city by actually eradicating a car-centric infrastructure.