Smart City Singapore Harnesses Innovation and Technology
Singapore Tourism Board in partnership with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) organised a ‘Smart Cities and Urban Solutions’ Summit in New Delhi.
Attended by key corporate opinion leaders and entrepreneurs, ‘The Singapore Dialogue’ focused on learning from best urban planning practices pioneered by the city state. The panel comprising Anandan Karunakaran, SVP – Surbana Jurong Planning Group; Stanley Samuel, Founder & CEO – ECOSOFTT and Mukundan Venkatachari, Hyflux; discussed key learnings from smart cities like Singapore against the current Indian context. Furthermore, urban solutions such as waste water management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, affordable housing, robust IT connectivity and digitalization, as well as good governance were hot topics amongst the attendees.
Anandan Karunakan, Senior Vice President of Surbana Jurong Pvt. Ltd., who addressed the audience on Singapore’s transformation, rapid and efficient urbanization shared his thoughts about how Singapore’s model of efficiency has inspired several other countries. He said, “Given the challenges of limited size and resources, Singapore’s success stories of integrated and innovative urban solutions are very encouraging. The key pillars that define Singapore’s urban planning system are: quality and affordable housing for Singaporeans, the amount of green space which makes it one of the most liveable cities in the world and added to this is an integrated and efficient transport system.”
Another key success is Singapore’s sustainable water solutions. Mukundan Venkatachari, Managing Director at Hyflux Engineering (India) Pvt Ltd, who highlighted the ways which Singapore has managed to overcome its lack of natural water resources, said, “Singapore treasures four key sources of water, which are – local catchment areas where Rain Water Harvesting has been implemented that ensures water is distributed to 17 man-made water reservoirs; imported water from Malaysia; waste water management is efficiently operated with the presence of 3 waste water plants and underground pipelines in Singapore; and the fourth source is Desalination that accounts for25% of national water requirement.”
Stanley Samuel, CEO, ECOSOFT, who also spoke about the importance of water and waste management in urban areas, highlighted how the company has drawn from the Singapore’s best practices and applied them in the Indian context. He elaborated, “In Singapore, every drop of water is respectfully captured, harvested, used and reused multiple times. If and when discharged, it’s done in a very environment friendly way. Likewise, we consult with corporates, schools, farmers, communities and industries to reduce water wastage by 50% and discharge waste water in environment friendly ways. We also conduct programmes to educate them about utilising existing water resources.”
Yuemin Li-Misra, Area Director of India and Bangladesh for Singapore Tourism Board, said, “The positive turnout for the “Smart Cities and Urban Solutions” Summit brings to light how important sustainable urban solutions have become in our fast shrinking world. Being a country with no natural resources, Singapore has, and continues to tackle these issues through consistent development, innovation and integration in the field of science and technology. To share what we have learnt and exchange best practices, Singapore will be hosting world class events on Urban Solutions such as the World Cities Summit, Singapore International Water Week, CleanEnviro Summit Singapore and Singapore International Energy Week, hence reinforcing its commitment towards making lives cleaner, greener and smarter.”