China tops IDC’s smart cities awards

China has emerged tops with five out of 19 winners in the 2018 IDC Smart City Asia Pacific Awards (SCAPA). Taiwan and Singapore were next with four and three awards respectively across 12 functional categories.

IDC Asia/Pacific handed out awards to 19 out of 148 most outstanding smart city projects in Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ). Other winning countries include Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.

“Rapid urbanisation and the exponential population growth of APeJ cities are severely constraining urban ecosystems. Coupled with increased socioeconomic pressures (eg, aging populations, inadequate housing options), and aging infrastructures, many APeJ city governments and city administrators are driven to seek investments in Smart City solutions to guarantee their city’s future survivability,” said Gerald Wang, Head, Public Sector of IDC Government Insights and IDC Health Insights, Asia Pacific.

Such city management solutions are expected to deliver better urban planning and operational efficiencies, enable higher-quality stakeholder engagements and closer collaborations, as well as influence widespread knowledge capital transformation with government employees, local businesses, and residents so cities can develop more sustainably.

IDC Government Insights went through a rigorous six-phased benchmarking exercise to determine the Top Smart City projects for 2017-18. These included identifying and cataloging the key Smart City projects in Asia/Pacific by IDC analysts across APeJ (50 percent), online voting to determine public opinion (25 percent), and the assessment of an International Advisory Council (25 percent).

“Even as municipalities globally are not the flattest, most agile organisations, city leaders should take the lead in rolling out viable and sustainable initiatives to transform traditional bureaucracies. They should not fall into the trap of waiting to be the last mile beneficiary of industry-wide innovations. Inevitably, strategic and operational silos will not bring about an enviable future ecology of ‘live, learn, work, and play’,” said Wang.

IDC believes that cities with agile operations, constant capability building, long-term investments in innovation for relevance and competitive advantage, as well as an open and collaborative ecosystem will pave the way forward in socioeconomic growth and excellence.