Asean smart cities - do not forget the disabled

The Asia-Pacific region is urbanising at breakneck speed. In Asean alone, 90 million more persons will move into cities by 2030. This scale of urbanisation puts huge pressure on essential public services on which vibrant economies and inclusive societies depend.

As governments work to expand service provision and build new infrastructure for smart cities, universal design-based accessibility must be at the heart of their approach. By definition, smart cities are reliant on information and telecommunications technologies to meet the needs of their residents. But if we are not careful, in our rush to create smart cities for present and future generations, we risk leaving persons with disabilities behind.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2018, with the headline 'Asean smart cities - do not forget the disabled'. Print Edition | Subscribe