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Singapore Smart Nation

What is a Smart City?

Electric grids that redistribute electricity according to where it is needed; levies that rise as water levels rise; driverless tow trucks that respond immediately to accidents and traffic lights that divert cars around it. These are examples of cities that are "smart"  cities that have embedded information and communications technology (ICT) into their infrastructure, allowing them to function adaptively in response to different needs.

By having such technology in place, a smart city is able to operate much more efficiently. Data can be collected about how different infrastructure is being used, so that it can be employed only as and when it is needed. For example, data about the soil moisture in parks can determine when and where sprinklers need to be turned on, helping to save the amount of water used; or data informing drivers where to find empty parking spots can optimize the amount of parking a city needs to build. At the same time, such technology can help citizens become more efficient in the way they use the city radio frequency identification (RFID) in transport passes can make it easy to both pay for a bus ride and pay for meals.

Altogether, these technologies can improve the services that a city provides to its citizens, lower costs of maintaining the city, ensure it is safer and more reliable, and even reduce the impact it has on the environment. Overall, smart cities can improve our quality of life.


What is Singapore Smart Nation?

With the Smart Nation project, Singapore aims to make the entire country smart. Everything from housing to transportation to emergency services across the nation will be ICT-enabled so that they can better meet citizens' needs. Many of these efforts are already underway  driverless vehicles are already being tested in the campuses of the National University of Singapore or in the Gardens by the Bay. Housing estates under the new Smart HDB Town Framework are embedding technologies to monitor the wellbeing of elderly citizens within apartments to provide them with timely healthcare and embedding sensors in fans that are triggered only at certain temperature thresholds to reduce energy consumption.


How Will the Future Affect Smart Nation?

Because the development of Smart Nation will affect so many aspects of life, future changes in the world can have a large impact on the degree to which the Smart Nation effort can benefit Singapore. As economic or political conditions change, for example, they could affect which policies and supporting infrastructure need to be put in place to build a Smart Nation. If smart sensors become widespread and cybersecurity becomes a major concern for the public, new policies about wifi coverage or data privacy may need to be implemented. Likewise, how the climate might change or how terrorist threats might grow could also greatly impact key steps that must be taken to make Singapore a Smart Nation.

By taking advantage of the Crowdsensor community to envision the future as expansively as possible, we can explore all of the potential opportunities or challenges that Singapore’s Smart Nation activities should take into account between now and 2030.


Additional Resources