Top 3 smart cities in APAC
The Asia Pacific (APAC) region has several smart cities under development, mainly grouped in countries such as China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Here we describe three of the region’s most developed smart city projects.
The city of Yinchuan, China, is known to be the most advanced city in the Asian nation in terms of the development and implementation of smart city initiatives.
In February 2014, ZTEsoft, the software subsidiary of Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturer ZTE, signed an agreement with the Yinchuan government to invest $500 million on smart city initiatives. In December 2014, also ZTEsoft inked a contract with the local government and launched its smart city project in September 2015. Under the terms of the contract, 13 subsystems will be implemented during the course of three years featuring a unified top design, scientific architecture, innovative business model, an operation and maintenance (O&M) platform and rich application functionality.
The subsystems stipulated in the agreement are: smart transportation, smart surveillance, smart community, environment protection, smart all-in-one card, smart tourism, enterprise cloud, smart government, big data analytics center, one cloud, operation center, GIS & 3D map and elastic network.
One of the key initiatives of the collaboration between the government of Yinchuan and the vendor is in the E-Government field. ZTE Smart E-Government solution for Yinchuan consists of three phases: process review and one-stop approval to provide reform benefits; data sharing and online approval to provide information benefits; and data collection, mining and analysis and virtual approval to provide big data benefits.
Also, the smart city project in Yinchuan stipulated the deployment of a security cloud platform including 30,000 integrated cameras. A portion of this consists of advanced HD cameras with smart analysis functions to ensure the security of the city and its residents.
Anyang, a city of 600,000 people near South Korea’s capital Seoul, has been developing its smart city project since 2003. The initiative began with the bus information system and has been expanding into wider intelligent transport system, and crime and disaster prevention.
Anyang’s Integrated Operation and Control Center currently acts as the platform that gathers, analyzes and distributes information for mobility, disasters management and crime.
The city has deployed an intelligent transport system to provide traffic management and traffic information services. Sensors send real-time traffic information to the control center, which uses the insight to provide information to the public via the internet and mobile applications.
Anyang’s smart city platform also monitors traffic in real time, and in case of traffic accidents police and fire station are notified to respond to the issue, prevent secondary accidents and minimize traffic congestion. Recorded footage before and after the accident can also be used for analysis in investigating the exact cause of the traffic accident.
The smart city plan also includes initiatives in the energy field, and streetlights and security lights have been switched to light-emitting diode systems to enhance energy efficiency. In the environmental space, the city has a surveillance system that can detect illegal trash dumping.
In 2014, the government of Singapore launched its Smart Nation vision in which the authorities of the Asian nation stipulated the implementation of a number of smart city initiatives.
The most developed smart services in Singapore are within the transportation and urban mobility sector.
Singapore has implemented a system designed to enhance traffic flow and keep road traffic running safety. Some of the key initiatives in the transportation sector include One Monitoring, a comprehensive portal serving all drivers and vehicle owners in the country. Through the portal, citizens can access traffic information collected from surveillance cameras installed on roads and taxi vehicles using GPS. The system also provides information on sections where road work is in progress, traffic images of major highways, traffic news, travel time calculator, road maps, street directions and parking information.
The Land Transport Authority also implemented a monitoring service that uses surveillance cameras to check for road incidents. When an incident is detected through the system, LTA activates the vehicle recovery service to tow the vehicle to the nearest designated car park outside the highway.
Another smart city initiative implemented by the authorities is the Parking Guidance System. This smart service, initially implemented in 2008, provides drivers with real-time information on parking availability.
Additionally, a key initiative in the environmental sector includes a mobile application developed by local utility Singapore Power, which allows citizens to view their bills and payment status, and submit meter readings. The app enables consumers to audit their home usage to manage water consumption.
In the energy sector, Singapore’s Intelligent Energy System attempts to improve network operations and facilitate active participation among consumers. Smart meters equipped with communication capabilities provide consumers and the grid operator with information on how much electricity is being used.