Mr. Sunghoon Kris Moon, ADB
Ms. Sarah Hui Li, ADB
Ms. Natalja Wehmer, Associate Economic Affairs Officer, UNESCAP
Ms. Soumya Chaturvedula, ICLEI
Ms. Puja Sawhney, EU-Switch-Asia Programme
Mr. Paul Martin, UNCDF
Technology has extended its influence into changing the way cities function and finance themselves today. Smartphone-based crowdsourcing applications allow citizens to take pictures and report public facility damage, resulting in saving in maintenance costs for city governments. Big data analytics enhance cities with more integrated urban planning capabilities, leading to cost-effective service delivery. Geospatial technology is aiding disaster risk management and reducing social and economic loss. There are many examples that serve as evidence of how technology is contributing to today’s city finance.
As technology constantly evolves, it opens new finance possibilities for cities, such as congestion charging. The transition from paper-based driving permits to advanced congestion charging models, e.g. Singapore’s investment in its Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system has paid off. ERP is not only helping regulate the city’s traffic and greenhouse gas emissions, but also generating revenues. By investing in smart technology, cities can harness technology’s power while also being able to manage costs and attract private investments. And with better and real-time data, cities will have the potential to function and budget things in a more efficient way.
As cities aspire to be smarter and more sustainable, technology becomes crucial to finance and achieve sustainable development goals. As such, it is important for cities to leverage smart technology as well as its current and future evolvement into their finance solutions.