Zeroing in on urbanisation

Lyna Mohamad

Cities worldwide are urbanising at a rapid rate, resulting in the onset of new challenges that make urban development much more complex, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) Haji Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof said as co-chair of the 3rd ASEAN-Japan Smart Cities Network High Level Meeting, conducted live at Aichi, Japan and virtually on October 18 and yesterday.

He added that the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has further impacted countries in various ways. However, a common theme is the acceleration of digital transformation across sectors.

The permanent secretary also shared that platforms such as the 3rd ASEAN-Japan Smart Cities Network High Level Meeting is crucial for ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) members to learn from Japan’s experiences in its smart and sustainable urbanisation journey.

The meeting was a part of the International Conference on Sustainable, Resilient Cities and Transport whereby the 3rd ASEAN-Japan Smart Cities Network High Level Meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan.

The meeting commenced with opening remarks from co-chairs Vice-Minister for Land, Infrastructure and Hokkaido Development, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan Ishida Masaru and Haji Mohammad Nazri in his capacity as Chair of 2021 ASCN.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) Haji Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof and Vice-Minister for Land, Infrastructure and Hokkaido Development, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan Ishida Masaru. PHOTO: MTIC

The permanent secretary conveyed his appreciation to the government of Japan for the support and cooperation with ASEAN through the introduction of Smart City supported by Japan ASEAN Mutual Partnership (Smart JAMP) as well as the ASEAN Smart Cities Planning Guidebook which is still in development.

A presentation on the progress of the Revitalisation of Kampong Ayer Project and Clean River Management Project which were previously submitted as part of ASCN was delivered by Deputy Permanent Secretary (Infocommunications) at the MTIC Haji Hairul Mohd Daud bin Haji Abdul Karim in his capacity as Secretary of Brunei Darussalam’s Smart City Steering Committee.

He also shared that Brunei Darussalam is re-evaluating its smart city initiatives where various proof-of-concepts for a smart city have been identified and to be explored in the next several years.

The meeting ended with closing remarks from both co-chairs during which Haji Mohammad Nazri urged ASCN members not to let the COVID-19 pandemic hinder the smart city progress but to use this opportunity to strengthen each city’s action plan through the knowledge and solutions gained from the meeting. He also re-emphasised the need to build on the ASEAN-Japan partnership to achieve a smart and sustainable urban development with the end goal of improving the quality of life of ASEAN citizens.

ASEAN-Japan Smart Cities Network High Level Meeting is an annual platform for ASEAN and Japan to share progress, knowledge and experiences for the benefit of making regional cities smarter.

ASCN members, Japan’s and foreign government agencies, private and public institutions as well as Japanese companies under the Japanese Association for Smart Cities in ASEAN (JASCA) also attended.