Smart city technologies are being rolled out across varying economic, social and political contexts, and the need exists to examine why and how smart city policies are eagerly being introduced by a number of Asian governments today. This introductory chapter maps out smart city literature and situates smart city discourses in Asia and its urbanisation and development. It highlights the discourse on Asian smart cities through actual policies and practices and asks: In what ways are smart cities supporting development in Asia? How are the smart city aspirations of Asian countries being pursued? What challenges might their policies encounter, and what insights and lessons can we learn from them? Bridging two major policy topics today – smart cities and Asia – this chapter offers a unique look at Asian smart cities at a time when Asia is rapidly growing in influence on the international stage.
Governing Development in the Era of Hyper-Connectivity
Edited by Yu-Min Joo and Teck-Boon Tan
Yu-Min Joo, Teck-Boon Tan and Ming-Yee Foo
Singapore launched the Smart Nation initiative with much fanfare in 2014. This chapter unpacks this multibillion-dollar initiative by examining the government’s key motivations, governance structure and the notable characteristics of its projects. In the process, it explains how the Smart Nation is a national development strategy of the Singapore Government as it strives to find the next big idea that Singapore can work towards in the next decade, having accomplished its global city development goals. Introducing the autonomous vehicle living lab as a case study, the chapter further illustrates how the government seeks to achieve developmental goals through active state intervention and long-term planning – features consistent with the characteristics of a developmental state. This contextually grounded examination of a technology-oriented strategy in a developmental state allows for a more accurate understanding of policies amid the prevailing discourse on smart city development under neoliberalism.