Singapore has topped a global ranking of smart cities for last year which assessed 20 urban areas in integration of Internet of Things (IoT) technology and connected services in traffic management, health, public safety and productivity.
Singapore came top in all areas, with the study noting that smart traffic solutions used by the Land Transport Authority may save drivers up to 60 hours a year.
Bhubaneswar in Orissa is the only Indian city on the list and at the bottom in health care, productivity and mobility and 13th in terms of public safety.
San Francisco came second and London third for their efforts to use technology to address congestion.
In health care, the study said cities with connected digital health services, such as wearable apps that monitored blood pressure, could save citizens close to 10 hours a year. “Singapore and Seoul were notable in terms of their focus on addressing health-care service provision for elderly citizens through a range of technologies, including digital-service platforms as well as remote monitoring devices,” said Juniper Research, which carried out the survey with Intel.
Windsor Holden of Juniper said: “We can’t overlook the importance of the real human benefits that smart cities have. Connected communities, municipal services and processes have a powerful impact on a citizen’s quality of life.”
Juniper said Singapore’s use of smart video surveillance could save residents nearly 35 hours a year. Heavy surveillance obviously carries human-rights implications for citizens.
New York, Barcelona, Berlin, Chicago, Portland, Tokyo, Melbourne, San Diego, Seoul, Nice, Dubai, Mexico City, Wuxi, Rio de Janeiro, Yinchuan and Hangzhou were also in the study.
Encouraging digital innovation to address urban planning challenges and residents’ access to digital services and information were deemed critical to improving productivity. Singapore, London and Chicago led in digital services with each having open data stores and strategies to encourage private innovation, Juniper noted.
Meanwhile, the city-state has been in the international spotlight for the wrong reasons as two Singaporean companies have been accused of supplying luxury goods to North Korea, according to a leaked United Nations report.
The Singaporean government said it was “working closely” with the UN to address the issue.
The UN leak said US$2 million in profits had been sent from the two firms’ accounts in North Korea to T Specialist’s accounts in the Lion City.
The UN has also accused the two companies of having “longstanding, close ties” with the Ryugyong Commercial Bank, which has been on the US sanctions list since last September, the BBC reported.
A lawyer for both companies, Edmond Pereira, has denied that they have any current financial ties or other business relations with any North Korean, except for those that took place before UN sanctions were enforced.
“Smart” Singapore. Picture credit: Flickr