The experience of Singapore and London is the key to building "smart" cities in Ukraine

The experience of Singapore and London is the key to building "smart" cities in Ukraine

This human-oriented approach of foreign cities can be used in solving problems in cities and communities of Ukraine

Ukraine has not become yet a leading country in the implementation of the smart city concept. Most Ukrainian cities and communities are just beginning their transition to digitalization, implementing local solutions. At the same time, there are already more global trends in the world, when the concept of "smart city" goes far beyond the comfort of everyday life or digitalization of administrative processes.

The most advanced cities in terms of digitalization are gradually coming to the point that smart city is a "smart" space, in which in "smart" (comfortable) conditions live "smart" population (a population that would like to learn and develop), which is actively involved in "smart" management of city life with a "smart" economy. This is the model of smart city development we are striving for in Ukraine.

Here are some examples. In Singapore (one of the undisputed leaders in the ranking of "smart cities" in the world), the first projects to digitize the city were implemented in the early 2000s, and they were concerned with energy efficiency and environmental protection from harmful emissions. Thus, the city successfully solved the problem of water treatment, the problem of which at that time was very acute, and implemented a system of "smart" waste disposal.

But by 2014, the ideas of a smart city in Singapore had been significantly transformed and its residents had been introduced to the global concept of Smart Nation, which aims to create a "transformed Singapore" where people would have more opportunities to live and have a conscious and fulfilling life through technology digital economy".

Thus, Singapore became the first city in the world for which the main priority in the implementation of the idea of a "smart" city was the development of human capital and adaptation of the population to online culture.

From this idea, the main directions of digitalization of the city were singled out: health care, education, transport system, intelligent city decisions, and financial sphere.

In particular, the Singapore authorities have set a goal to make the city a global financial center, and thus ensure the inflow of investment, create a favorable business environment and stimulate innovation.

But the city also intends to support creativity and experimentation in business, start-up ecosystems, to promote the development of digital solutions available to any resident and guest of Singapore. City officials plan to use the municipality's investment to digitize infrastructure to put technology at the service of its citizens.

Thanks to this approach, Singapore is now a leader among "smart" cities not only in terms of quality of life but also in terms of ease of doing business and involvement in the world economy. The residents of Singapore strive not only to live in their city but also to work and earn in it.

The concept of "Smart London" is also aimed at developing the potential of residents. Although, as in Singapore, its implementation involved a number of standard digital solutions, such as the London DataStore, digitalization of the transport system, digital initiatives for the participation of residents in the management of the city, restoration projects and others. The main focus in London is still on areas that promote talent development, intellectual growth, and sustainable development.

For instance, among the key principles of the strategy can be seen the promotion of research and creative talent of the people of London, communication between government, business and the public, openness to cooperation.

Therefore, the main priorities for the city's development were highlighted in the Smarter London Together roadmap adopted in 2018. Namely, London plans to develop more digital services based on user solutions, provide coverage of more of the city with public Wi-Fi and develop "smart" streets, introduce big data management technologies, and constantly strengthen cooperation between the parties within the city.

In other words, both Singapore and London presented to the world a slightly different and broader vision of the "smart" city to which everyone is accustomed. Having developed smart city strategies with a clear human-centered focus, they have put a "smart" nation first and emphasize the development of a "smart" population and human capital in general. At the same time, of course, no one forgets about solving specific environmental or transport problems, management and household tasks, and more. It's just that all this is no longer a goal, but a means to an end in building a "smart" city of a new quality.

This human-oriented approach of foreign cities can be used in solving problems in cities and communities of Ukraine. This will bring us much closer to both global trends and contribute to the development of a "smart" nation.


Yuriy Nazarov,

Head of SmartCity.UA, Head of the Smart City Committee of the Public Council at the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine.

Watch now: Smart Innovations of Singapore and Ukraine

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