Smart Cities in SE Asia can deliver real quality of life improvements – report

SINGAPORE: A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), in collaboration with the Center for Liveable Cities in Singapore, finds that cities in Southeast Asia could use digital solutions to improve some quality-of-life indicators by 10 to 30 per cent.

The report, Smart cities in Southeast Asia, is produced for the World Cities Summit 2018 that will be held in Singapore from July 8 to 12, China’s Xinhua News Agency reported.

It finds the current generation of smart city technologies can save time, improve public health and safety, create a cleaner and more sustainable environment, and foster a sense of community and civic engagement.

In detail, the report says, with smart solutions, Southeast Asia could remove up to some 270,000 kilotons of greenhouse gas emissions annually; save some 5,000 lives lost each year to traffic accidents, fires, and homicides; save up to 8 million man-years in annual commuting time; reduce the region’s disease burden by 12 million disability-adjusted life years; add almost 1.5 million jobs by creating more efficient and productive environments for business and hiring; and provide better housing options and lowering energy bills for its residents.

A press release from MGI said Southeast Asia’s urban areas are home to one-third of its total population but generate more than two-thirds of the region’s GDP. Urbanization is fueling economic growth, but the breakneck pace has left many cities struggling to provide adequate housing, infrastructure, and services to meet the needs of a surging population.

“Urbanization can propel Southeast Asia to the level of economic and human development, but only if growth is managed well,” said Jonathan Woetzel, senior partner, and leader of McKinsey’s Special Cities Initiative.

He was quoted in the press release as saying that cities need to act now to address growing environmental stresses and particularly to combat climate change and improve their resilience. – Bernama

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