Singapore is building a nationwide sensor network to analyze and share public data collected from public facilities and streets in a bid to strengthen facilitate date sharing among different public services, a key step required to transform the city state into the so-called Smart Nation and digital government amid growing urban life challenges.
The Government Technology Agency (GovTech) is at the heart of this task and it is focusing on tackling two major urban issues, aging population and urban density, said Amos Tan, Director Smart Nation Solutions & Applications at GovTech Singapore during a recent email interview with Maeil Business Newspaper.
“The nationwide sensor network that GovTech is building will enable and facilitate tele-health and smart mobility initiatives such as autonomous vehicle trials by other public agencies in the near future,” Tan said.
For example, raw video data obtained from public CCTVs through the nationwide sensor network will be processed to extract various other metadata such as vehicle and people counts for data sharing among government departments and agencies.
Along with the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), GovTech is a top government agency placed under Singaporean Prime Minister’s Office to drive digital transformation within the public sector. The agency supports the government in achieving its goal to transform the city state into the world`s leading smart nation by digitizing the use of technology to make everyday tasks simpler, such as e-tuition. It will work with SNDGO to enhance the country’s information and communications technology infrastructure and public service implementation.
GovTech will actively cooperate with other public agencies to develop and roll out various digital platforms that will aid the government to build a smart nation. Its data portal (data.gov.sg) allows everybody to access and utilize more than 600 types of public data provided by some 70 public agencies.
“Smart City is about raising the quality of life of the citizens, enabling safer, cleaner and greener urban living, providing more transport options, better care for elderly at home and more responsive public services through the use of technology,” said Tan.
As technology prowess is not the same among different countries, smart cities to be built by different countries will vary in size, Tan said, adding that but “a smart city should ultimately place its people as the focus and looks for opportunities to deliver citizen-centric services.”
Because Singapore is “a city state with a single layer of government, it can pilot smart city solutions in housing precincts before scaling them up nationwide,” Tan said. “Most smart technologies, if properly designed, will be able to be applied at the national level, especially if the country has good nationwide infrastructure, a strong culture to promote co-creation and an innovative private sector.”
As sharing and openness of data lies at the core of building a smart nation, GovTech is actively seeking views and feedback from the general public, like “people on the street,” to introduce digital public services that are “citizen-centric and meaningful,” Tan said. “It is important that our people feel inclusive and have the opportunity to shape the future together in our journey towards a Smart Nation.”
By Kim Yeon-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]