Singapore tops the list of cities that will spend most money on smart city projects, together with New York City, Tokyo and London. Each of them will invest more than US$1 billion on smart city planning, according to recent research by IDC.
In a new update to its Worldwide Semiannual Smart Cities Spending Guide, IDC forecasts worldwide spending on smart cities initiatives to reach US$95.8 billion in 2019, an increase of 17.7% over 2018. The Asia Pacific (APAC) region represents over 40% of the total global expenditure.
"In the APAC region, the exponential growth and diversity of smart city initiatives in second- and third-tier cities are continually challenging many first-tier cities to transform," said Gerald Wang, Head of IDC APAC Public Sector research.
He continued: "With competition for talent and foreign direct investment being even more intense today, these socioeconomic hubs provide huge openings for solution providers to aid in seamless connectivity and collaborations, enhanced productivity and automation, as well as address security and privacy concerns."
The report adds that initiatives related to data-driven public safety, intelligent transportation, and resilient energy and infrastructure will attract the largest share of funding in 2019, but key use cases in the areas of economic development and civic engagement, and sustainable planning and administration will also see considerable investments.
The smart cities use cases that will receive the most funding in 2019 include fixed visual surveillance, advanced public transit, smart outdoor lighting, intelligent traffic management, and connected back office. Together, these five use cases will represent 34% of worldwide spending this year.
Strong investment growth in intelligent traffic management solutions will make it the third largest use case in 2020, overtaking smart outdoor lighting. The use case that will see the fastest spending growth over the 2017-2022 forecast period is officer wearables (e.g. smart apparel or smart holsters). Other use cases that will experience significant spending growth include digital twin and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity.
Singapore: Smart City of 2018
Under its Smart Nation Initiative, launched in 2014, Singapore has embarked on strategic national projects that reduce friction between the government, businesses and citizens, improving productivity while paying attention to sustainability.
Ranking an impressive 6th position in the top world smart cities 2018 index by the IESE Business School in Barcelona, Singapore is at the forefront of the digital economy, digital government and digital society.
The island nation received the City Award at the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) 2018 in Barcelona last November. The award recognises Singapore government’s investments in technology and connectivity infrastructure.
Some of the initiatives rolled out within the smart city framework is taking most of the government to the digital realm and implementing e-government services, launching an unified QR code system, or implementing legislation and infrastructure for autonomous vehicles.
Speaking at the SCEWC, Dr Janil Puthucheary, Minister-in-charge of GovTech, highlighted the need for "transformation through technology”.
He added that "the application of these technologies must benefit our grandchildren and re-engineer our country to improve lives for generations to come."