ASEAN Smart Cities Network
ASEAN Smart Cities Network
Working towards smart and sustainable urban development to improve lives

Challenges


Most of the growth in the member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been and will continue to be driven by urban centres. By 2030, an additional 90million people are expected to move to urban areas. Middleweight citiesbetween 200,000and 2,000,000residents, are forecast to drive 40percent of the region’s growth. This rapid urbanization is not without its challenges. Iimpacts cross-cutting issues, such as city congestion, water and air quality, poverty, rising inequalities, the urban-rural divide and citizen security and safety. Cities in ASEAN aspire to address these pressing challenges; however, they lack the expertise, tools and financing to employ technology to implement smart and sustainable solutions. 

Towards a Solution


ASEAN member States have recognized the need to identify technological solutions that can relieve the pressures of rapid urbanization, deliver integrated public services and improve lives. As such, one of the key deliverables of the 2018ASEAN Chairmanship, held by Singapore, was to establish an ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) with 26pilot cities. 

 

While many ASEAN member States have already designated certain areas as smart cities or launched smart city development projects, ASCN is an inclusive and collaborative platform that would synergize these efforts and bring these smart cities together, thereby contributing to efforts to build an ASEAN Community.  

 

ASCN recognizes the diversity within the ASEAN community and does not seek to impose a monolithic system. Rather, it is a set of national systems that gives due consideration to each country’s developmental goals. 

 

Since collaboration is at the heart of this initiative, ASCN aims to facilitate cooperation on smart city development and network with external partners of ASEANprivate sector solution providers and multilateral financial institutions. To that end, Singapore hosted the Smart Cities Governance Workshop in May2018, as well as the Inaugural Meeting of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network in July2018. To guide its activities, ASCN negotiated and endorsed a non-binding ASEAN Smart Cities Framework and developed Smart City Action Plans. 

 

These connections have helped to catalyse bankable projects with the private sector. Pilot cities have looked beyond the region, entering into promising partnerships with private sector companies to boost ASCN’s fast-expanding global reach. For example, the partnership between Banyuwangi in Indonesia and the publisher John Wiley and Sons promotes digital-based learning for students in 25subdistricts in Banyuwangi. In Chonburi, Thailand, the Yokohama Urban Solution Alliance is supporting the development of a smart energy management system. The International Finance Corporation and IBM Asia Pacific have more broadly pledged to work together on the TechEmerge smart cities programme, which is designed to improve the delivery of urban services within ASEAN by matching technology companies with urban service providers and city governments. The types of private sector partnerships are highly varied, which is indicative of the diverse needs of ASEAN cities. 

 

ASCN also serves as a platform for member cities to form mutually beneficial partnerships with external partners to drive the development of smart cities through triangular cooperation. For exampleunder the United States-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership, the United States organized a three-part smart cities programme in July 2019, which included the US-ASEAN Smart Cities Symposium. Singapore and the United States also jointly organized the Singapore-United States Third Country Training Programme workshop on smart cities in December2019. Japan convened an ASEAN Smart Cities Network High-Level Meeting in Tokyo in October2019, while the Republic of Korea organized the ASEAN-Republic of Korea High-Level Dialogue on Infrastructure and the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Smart Cities Forum in September2019. Coinciding with the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit, the Republic of Korea also organized the inaugural ASEAN-Republic of Korea Ministerial Meeting on Smart City in November2019. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of the Republic of Korea has also invited ASCN members to submit applications to the 2020K-City Network Global Cooperation Program, which is open to national and local governments and public sector entities. It is designed to offer training and support for project plan development to smart city projects overseas. Australia announced an ASEAN-Australia Smart Cities Initiative, investing 30million Australian dollars in March2018. As a follow-up, Australia established a smart cities trust fund with the Asian Development Bank. In addition, the ASEAN-China Leaders’ Statement on Smart City Cooperation was adopted during the 22nd ASEAN-China Summit in November2019. 

 

ASCN’s partnerships also align with the Sustainable Development Goals. While the type of engagement from external partners or private sector solution providers might differ, all are committed to promoting sustainable growth, building resilient infrastructure and partnering with cities to achieve inclusive development. This inclusive approach is the ASCN’s hallmarkIt creates opportunities across the rural-urban continuum, leaves no one behind and improves the lives of ASEAN citizens.  

 

Moving forward, ASCN invites external partners, such as non-ASCN cities, multilateral financial institutions and private sector solution providers, to engage with ASCN and ASCN cities to explore mutually beneficial partnerships for cooperation on smart city development in order to improve lives. 

Contact Information

Name: Ms Joy Boo, Title: Deputy Director, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Directorate, Organization: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore

Supported by

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore

Countries involved

Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam

Implementing Entities

ASEAN Smart Cities Network Chair (Viet Nam), ASEAN Smart Cities Network Shepherd (Singapore), National Representatives from each ASEAN member State overseeing smart and sustainable development, Chief Smart City Officers from each member city

Project Status

Ongoing

Project Period

2018 - 2025

URL of the practice

www.asean.org/asean/asean-smart-cities-network

Primary SDG

11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Secondary SDGs

09 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
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