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
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.