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On the road towards a Smart ASEAN: Updates by July 2018

On 27th April, ASEAN had published a concept note which briefly outlined Singapore’s proposal for a ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN), a collaborative platform comprising of 26 pilot cities, that works towards smart and sustainable urban development, using technology.

In this July, alongside the World Cities Summit, the plan is that Singapore will convene the first annual meeting of the ASCN, inviting all member cities and their National Representatives.

The ASEAN Smart Cities Network will include 26 pilot cities. In alphabetical order, they are  Bandar Seri Begawan, Bangkok, Banyuwangi, Battambang, Cebu City, Chonburi, Da Nang, Davao City, DKI Jakarta, Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Luang Prabang, Makassar, Mandalay, Manila, Nay Pyi Taw, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Siem Reap, Singapore, Vientiane, and Yangon.

If all goes according to plan, these ASEAN member states will be asked to assign Chief Smart City Officers for each city, as well as National Representatives

ASEAN member states will also be asked to assign Chief Smart City Officers (one for each ASCN city) as well as National Representatives to participate in crafting their respective city’s action plan and discuss the ASEAN Smart Cities and attend ASCN meetings.

Breadth and depth

According to the concept note, smart cities development cuts across many sectors such as transport, water quality, energy, health care, education, public services, data, and information and communications technology (ICT).

It also says, “In light of cities’ often differing priorities, the ASCN will be designed to allow member cities to focus on areas that matter to them, in line with each city’s local and cultural context.”

To that end, the ASCN and nation-level reps will jointly craft an ASEAN Smart Cities Framework that defines ASEAN’s definition of a smart city, outlines key principles and identifies core outcomes.

Dates to look out for

In May 2018, Singapore was slated to have developed initial action plans together with member cities during a 5-day Smart City Governance Workshop (SCGW). It would take into account these cities’ existing blueprints and action plans, and would have developed action plans and projects that member cities will undertake from 2018 till 2025.

A revised of the ASEAN Smart Cities Frameworks is supposed to have been discussed during May’s SCGW. By July during the first ASCN meeting is should be endorsed and then adopted by the ASEAN Leaders during the 33rd ASEAN Summit in November 2018.

Of significance also from the concept note, is the portion about member cities each pairing up with one of ASEAN’s external partners, to form what was described as, “mutually beneficial partnerships for cooperation on smart cities development.”

Therefore come July, Singapore as ASEAN chair will organising a matchmaking platform alongside the ASCN’s first meeting in July. The twinning programme and list of pairings would be announced in August 2018.


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