Asian Writers' Circle

Focus on people to build smart cities

While talks about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, smart cities and digital connection become trendy, the focus should be on making existing communities smart first to ensure no one is left behind.

People are talking industry 4.0 and 5.0, but in these efforts to build a smart digital environment, a serious lack of attention is paid to those on the ground, or more accurately, to measures for improving the lives of the poor and destitute.

Even with the recent adoption of the Asean Smart Cities Framework by Asean leaders in Singapore, with its promise "that no one is left behind", the focus is mainly on the "urban centres".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2018, with the headline 'Focus on people to build smart cities'. Subscribe