Singapore named leading ‘smart city’ in new global index

Singapore named leading ‘smart city’ in new global index


Anthea Ow, Content Producer

Singapore has topped a new global index of smart cities, The Straits Times reports, in a boost for its tech and trade ambitions.

The city-state beat London (2nd), New York (3rd) and San Francisco (4th) in The Global Smart City Performance Index, published this week by Intel.

Smart cities are defined as those which have built Internet of Things (IoT) technologies into their infrastructure to support public services. A common example is intelligent traffic systems; sensors which provide real-time information used to alter traffic light patterns and bus routes to reduce congestion.

According to the index report, Singapore’s intelligent traffic system could save each citizen 60 hours per year.

The new index focuses on smart cities across four indices: mobility, healthcare, public safety and productivity. Singapore beat all other smart cities across all four indices, which will do no harm to its status as a global business hub.

Singapore’s ‘Smart Nation’ drive, and its position as a city-state, were key factors in its top position in the index.

Launched in 2014, the Smart Nation initiative is a ‘whole-of-nation movement to harness digital technologies to build a future Singapore, to improve living and build a closer community, empower citizens to achieve their aspirations through good jobs and opportunities, and encourage businesses to innovate and grow.’

This has translated into projects such as the smart bus stop and an app that provides parents with young children access to e-services, such as the ability to register a child’s birth online.

Singapore’s ambition to become a global fintech hub is also a major part of its Smart Nation agenda.  Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore stated in 2015 that “a Smart Nation needs a Smart Financial Centre”. As noted by Mr Menon, the financial sector is well placed to play a leading role given that it offers fertile ground for innovation and the application of technology.

Collaboration between the UK and Singapore in the future of financial services, skills and digital innovation will be the subject of a roundtable at Asia House on 22 March.