For Sin­ga­pore, growth comes with a vi­sion of sustainability

De­vel­op­ing as a tech­nol­ogy hub is also not enough. Sin­ga­pore wants to fo­cus on its na­tional char­ac­ter and build a re­silient, car­ing so­ci­ety

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Sne­hil Sinha

Sin­ga­pore has grand am­bi­tions. It wants t o b e t h e wo rl d ’ s first ‘Smart Na­tion’. It’s har­ness­ing tech­nol­ogy in all spheres of gov­er­nance and ad­min­is­tra­tion to move to­wards a ‘smarter’ fu­ture.

Ac­cord­ing to the Sin­ga­pore govern­ment, a smart na­tion means peo­ple and busi­nesses are em­pow­ered through in­creased ac­cess to data, more par­tic­i­pa­tion through the con­tri­bu­tion of in­no­va­tive ideas and so­lu­tions, and a more an­tic­i­pa­tory govern­ment that utilises tech­nol­ogy to bet­ter serve cit­i­zens’ needs.

While be­ing a world leader in tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment, Sin­ga­pore has started de­velop ing as a cul­tural cen­tre as well. The govern­ment is in­creas­ingly fo­cus­ing on poli­cies to build a char­ac­ter for Sin­ga­pore. Much of Sin­ga­pore’s plans now fo­cus on root­ed­ness and lever­ag­ing its mul­ti­cul­tural de­mog­ra­phy.

Ac­cord­ing to the govern­ment web­site Sin­ga­pore’s bud­get for 2016 fo­cused on trans­form­ing its econ­omy and build­ing a re­silient and car­ing so­ci­ety.

Sin­ga­pore is con­sciously build­ing its smart city frame­work around not just tech­no­log­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions ( that it is al­ready great at) but also around vi­sions for a sus­tain­able fu­ture.

Over the years, it can be ev­i­dently seen that Sin­ga­pore has con­stantly changed its plans and vi­sions for the fu­ture de­pend­ing on the need of the times.

Sin­ga­pore is a smart city be­cause of its govern­ment’s i mmac­u­late plan­ning and vi­sion­ing and the ad­min­is­tra­tion fol­low­ing up on those plans. In Sin­ga­pore, it’s not just the na­tional vi­sion, but those made by ev­ery de­part­ment and gov­ern­ing body that helps in co­he­sive de­vel­op­ment.

The Min­istry of Na­tional De­vel­op­ment’s (MND) cur­rent vi­sion re­flects its “grow­ing em­pha­sis not just on phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture, but also on the softer as­pects of creat­ing emo­tional at­tach­ment in our peo­ple, the global tal­ents and cor­po­ra­tions whom we at­tract here. At the same time, it ar­tic­u­lates MND’s goal of build­ing upon Sin­ga­pore’s unique dis­tin­guish­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics to de­velop the city state as a global city of knowl­edge, cul­ture and ex­cel­lence”.

Wi t h s u c h v i e w s , the Sin­ga­pore govern­ment also started in­creas­ing fo­cus on be­com­ing an ed­u­ca­tional hub. In the past few years, Sin­ga­pore has de­vel­oped world class uni­ver­si­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to some ur­ban­ists, it has also been a great move to es­tab­lish the univer­sity in the heart of the city. They say that hav­ing youth in the city helps build the cul­tural fi­bre, makes the city dy­namic and adds to the ur­ban ethos of the city. Un­like some large uni­ver­si­ties across the world that are be­ing built away from cities and do not con­trib­ute to the so­cial and eco­nomic progress of that city, Sin­ga­pore chose in­clu­sive growth, let­ting both the city and the ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion ben­e­fit from each other.

Sin­ga­pore has a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment that has been pro­mot­ing tech­nol­ogy and the IT sec­tor as well. The govern­ment is now us­ing tech­nol­ogy in all pos­si­ble ar­eas and creat­ing IT-en­abled in­fra­struc­ture to work to the ad­van­tage of cit­i­zens.

Col­lect­ing large amounts of data is one of the key el­e­ments of keep­ing the sys­tem run­ning. The data is used to help the el­derly, track chil­dren and also keep the traf­fic sys­tem dy­namic to en­able the govern­ment mon­i­tor the trans­port and traf­fic sit­u­a­tion con­tin­u­ously and keep up­dat­ing the sys­tem and in­tro­duce new fea­tures.

The govern­ment also came up with Smart Mo­bil­ity 2030, j ointly de­vel­oped by Land Trans­port Au­thor­ity (LTA) and the In­tel­li­gent Trans­porta­tion So­ci­ety Sin­ga­pore (ITSS).

The vi­sion be­hind the ini­tia­tive is to take Sin­ga­pore’s In­tel­li­gent Trans­port Sys­tem (ITS) for­ward and find out how more com­pre­hen­sive ITS so­lu­tions could be ex­pected in the near fu­ture.

The Sin­ga­pore govern­ment un­der­stands that with lim­ited land, the city can af­ford to ex­pand the roads and the num­ber of ve­hi­cles on them, only to a cer­tain ex­tent.

The ITS in Sin­ga­pore com­bines sev­eral f ea­tures and s ol uti ons t hat e mpha­sise road safety, bet­ter and more in­te­grated public trans­port, pro­motes walk­ing and cy­cling and re­duces traf­fic, all en­abled through smart com­put­erised ca­pa­bil­ity. Roads in Sin­ga­pore are ranked amongst the least con­gested.

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