Best Practices to Become a Sustainable Smart City: The Case of Singapore

Best Practices to Become a Sustainable Smart City: The Case of Singapore

Jannis Elm (South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, Germany) and Luísa Cagica Carvalho (Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal, Portugal & CEFAGE – Universidade de Évora, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2128-1.ch013


The world´s population is growing, day by day, and the latest trends in pertinent magazines show people preferring cities more and more than the countryside. This brings us to take a closer look on the effects brought with this urban sprawl. Cities grow in a dimension; city planners have to excogitate more and more innovative city concepts and solutions in order to cope with this increase of population and with maintain the cities infrastructure and systems. This has led to the term, Smart City, which was coined to reflect or at least promote innovative and smart solutions not only for today but for coming generations. This chapter reflects on a case study of an Asian city that developed a plan to become a smart city. This research focused essentially on the sustainable perspective of a smart city and present some results and best practices that could be implemented by other cities that aim to become smart.
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Nowadays, the population in the cities worldwide is growing more and more. Percentage of the population in the city increases more than in the countryside. There are mega metropolises around the world which cause many problems. ONU (2012) forecast a population growth from 7 to 9 billion in 2040, especially in developed countries. Nevertheless, cities are regional spaces to suitable to promote innovation, knowledge and creativity and the biggest cities in the world manage 60% of worlds GDP in 2025 (McKinsey, 2011).

The Mega-cities are facing problems such as poverty, poor infra-structure which has often impact on the economy and thus the prosperity of the city. Furthermore, the sustainable development of the city plays an increasingly important role nowadays.

This case study was prepared to share best practices to become to a city become sustainable and environmental smart and to present these implemented ideas and governance practices to other cities that’s wants to become a smart city. Singapore could be considered as a role model and an example of how to manage population growth and cope with the challenges related with such fields like infrastructure, mobility, pollution and energy, with a view to sustainability.

In order to show a clear path with good results, data from the government, international and private organizations were evaluated and shown, using the smart solutions, Singapore has found for this with an example and future models. The models and solutions which are presented are not directly transferable to other cities, as they may have differences in culture, geography and economic aspects, but these possible future paths can show how the large population growth can be mastered sustainably. The case study deals with the topic’s mobility, pollution, energy, infrastructure and space problems. These were selected because they are the biggest and most common problems worldwide. The question “Is Singapore a smart city and still sustainable” was addressed in each of the points. The investigations began with the problem identification and then the way in which the individual problems were solved with which methods and how they affected the population of Singapore.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Best Practice: commercial or professional procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective.

Sustainable Development: Development that meets the needs of the present human beings, without compromising future generations to meet their own needs.

Smart City: It’s a smart regional ecosystem that includes several partners and stakeholders interconnected. They develop collaborative networks (firms, citizens, public organizations, cultural, economic and social infrastructure) to create an open and creative environment useful to live and to develop smart and innovative businesses and social projects. These regions present high standards attending to some indicators associated with innovation, creativity, environment, life quality, entrepreneurial activities and support infrastructures.

Urban Plannning: is a technical and political process concerned with the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas, such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks.

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