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Building Smart Towns, Not Just Smart Checklists

Where tech serves humanity

While the term “smart city” has become a ubiquitous buzzword for government initiatives, NEC takes a different approach, focusing on citizen-driven solutions. Unlike traditional smart city projects, which may often evolve into a checklist of features, our vision prioritizes the needs and aspirations of the community, ensuring technology serves the people, not the other way around.

Local authorities actively engage with their communities, identifying crucial issues and sourcing relevant technology solutions collaboratively. It thus ensures that implemented solutions are not merely technological marvels, but practical tools that directly address real-world concerns.

Aligning with purpose

To ensure a holistic approach, NEC’s Smart Town Solution prioritizes four core pillars, each leveraging the power of Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Big Data:

  • Governance: Utilizing digitalization to enhance transparency and trust between citizens and authorities.
  • Economy: Fostering innovation and creating new economic opportunities for sustainable growth.
  • Environment: Implementing solutions for a sustainable future, safeguarding the environment for generations to come.
  • Society: Developing and deploying transformative technologies that empower citizens and enhance their quality of life.

As Marko Kanadi, Head of Business Incubation at NEC Indonesia, aptly points out, “the focus should shift towards understanding how these technologies can truly serve the needs of the citizens.”

From vision to reality

Our commitment to tackling citizen-centric problems is exemplified by our work from Asia to Europe and beyond:

1. Spain: Digitalization for small towns in Cordoba

And it’s not just bustling metropolises. In the less densely populated provinces of Cordoba, Spain, NEC partnered with local municipalities to support their digitalization efforts and engage citizens at the ground level. As part of the National Smart Cities Plan, NEC established a cloud-based common platform powered by its Urban OS. This platform hosts a suite of administrative services such as incident management, facility maintenance, and citizen participation. This innovative approach demonstrates that smart city projects are not limited to large-scale urban environments and can be effectively implemented even in smaller communities, ensuring efficient management and enhancing public safety.

2. Japan: Embracing innovation in the city

NEC’s suite of digital transformation solutions empowered a city famous for its Northern Alps to undergo a remarkable smart city transformation. In 2020, the city embraced face recognition technology, allowing residents to make contactless payments at stores and receive personalized greetings at the Shinkansen station. This project not only provided advanced services but also fostered a sense of pride within the community, attracting curious visitors eager to experience cutting-edge technology firsthand.

3. Singapore: Simplifying citizen services

NEC developed an all-in-one municipal app for district town councils in Singapore. This app streamlines the process of addressing everyday concerns, ranging from repairing potholes to scheduling garbage collection. The app integrates services from various government agencies, directing residents to the appropriate authorities for swift resolution. This centralized command and control (CC&C) platform not only improves problem diagnosis and resolution but also enhances resident satisfaction.

4. Thailand: Combating industrial waste management

In Thailand, NEC implemented a solution to address the prevalent issue of illegal dumping in industrial estates. Leveraging our expertise in waste management systems, NEC provides real-time tracking and monitoring capabilities, enabling authorities to track, manage, and enforce proper disposal of industrial waste, thereby upholding environmental regulations and supporting sustainable industrial development.

NEC’s commitment to building smart cities and smart towns goes beyond simply implementing technology. It’s about understanding the unique needs of each community and fostering a collaborative environment where citizens and local authorities work together to create a more sustainable, prosperous, and livable future. By prioritizing citizen-centric solutions and fostering innovation, NEC is shaping the future of urban development, ensuring that they are not merely a collection of technology but thriving ecosystems that empower and enhance the lives of their inhabitants.

March 21, 2024