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Three smart city projects 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 initiatives.


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.


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. 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’s 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 includes the deployment of a security cloud platform with 30,000 integrated cameras. A portion of this consists of advanced, high-definition cameras with smart analysis functions to ensure the security of the city and its residents.


Busan is South Korea’s second largest city, with a population of over 3.6 million. The city has been implementing cloud-based infrastructure delivered by a successful collaboration between the local government, Cisco, and South Korea’s largest telco, KT. Building on a total investment of $320 million, Busan Green u-City initiative is now moving forward and implementing its multi-staged development plan. This will result in the launch of community centers and numerous urban services for its citizens.

The public-private-partnership set up between Busan Metropolitan City, Cisco and KT, shares both the costs and the risks of the project. The two companies  have established a joint venture, KCSS, which is now providing a full range of ICT solutions to other cities in Asia.

The partners are implementing the project in three stages. During the first phase, they focused on the design, and brought together city administration and developers in the Busan Mobile Application Centre, a shared application development platform that uses open city data. In stage two, new services for the city and its citizens were trialed and key platforms for content management were developed. The third stage will deploy commercial end-user services and build a more robust cloud platform for commercial and industrial applications.

Busan’s smart city initiative includes projects in several areas such as smart community, urban mobility, safety and security, smart energy and smart logistics.

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