Smart cities: What it takes to build a city

What goes into building a city and what does it take to build a city from the ground up?

Managing Director at PwC Capital Projects & Infrastructure, Keith Martin said on Tuesday (Jan 27): “The starting point of good planning is really to understand the demand for a new city space or new urban development.

“So, there must be a way of measuring demand, assessing that demand, understanding the type of demand, the timing of that demand, the population growth, and the affordability of the demand, so that the master plan can be demand driven and reflect the needs of the end users.”

An oversupply of infrastructure could be as detrimental as an under supply. The oversupply of housing in certain parts of China has sparked fears of an impending property bubble.

Apart from balancing the physical needs of land, water and the environment, analysts have pointed out that is also important to consider social needs in the entire ecosystem.

EY Advisory Services Partner, Sam Wong said it is not only important to look at the physical or infrastructure aspects, but the human side of it as well.

He said: “People make up and exhibit the culture and this is what a city should be known for. In commercial terms, we call it unique selling points. Similarly in a city, what is the unique selling point is that it is relevant to its stakeholder.”

Microsoft Public Service Group Director, Stephanie Hung said there are three big development considerations when building a smart city. She said the first is to consider how the Government can be assisted to build trustworthiness while the second is to deal with building sustainability. The third, she added, would be to focus on the people in the cities.

While people build cities, it is equally important that cities today are built for its people.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 27 Jan 2015

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