How can smart solutions help address Southeast Asia’s urban challenges?
Internet of Things (IoT)

How can smart solutions help address Southeast Asia’s urban challenges?

Southeast Asia’s urban areas are home to one third of its total population and generate more than two thirds of the region’s GDP. The rapid urbanization of its cities has led to issues such as road congestion, poor air quality and inadequate housing, but many of these problems can and are being tackled with the implementation of smart city technologies including the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Cities in Southeast Asia are starting their smart city journeys from varying points owing to the incredible diversity in the region in terms of political systems, technological maturity and socio-economic development. While some cities are further along on this journey than others, a common trend is cities leveraging technology in a manner that makes sense for their specific context.

“For prime movers that already have existing infrastructure systems but are strained beyond capacity, this means retrofitting systems to increase efficiency,” says Jonathan Woetzel, Senior Partner McKinsey & Company, Director of the McKinsey Global Institute and Leader of McKinsey’s Cities Special Initiative. “Meanwhile, for agile seedbeds that typically have large greenfield areas, this means building smart from the start by incorporating smart solutions into master plans.”

Cities may also have their own specific challenges, as Microsoft’s Soon Hyung Hwang, Industry Solutions for Government in Southeast Asia New Markets points out. “One city may be trying to find ways to deal with managing a growing amount of waste product by an influx of new residents moving from the countryside, whereas another may be focused on managing traffic gridlocks caused by poorly planned roads and a rise in car owners.”

 

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Keri Allan

Keri Allan is a freelance journalist and editor who has been covering the engineering and technology sector for over 15 years, writing for titles including E&T Magazine, The Engineer and Arabian Computer News.

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