Global connectivity not been thought of: PM in S’pore

Published : 12:06 am  July 10, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 

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PM in Singapore

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Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaks at the World Cities Summit, which coincides with International Water Week and Cleanviro Summit.  

 

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday stressed the need to reconsider the structure of local bodies with the advent of mega city and global connectivity concepts.

The Prime Minister expressed this sentiment at the World Cities Summit which coincided with International Water Week and Cleanviro Summit in Singapore last morning. “Singapore has tried to maximize aquifer retention within its own territory from its first national development plan, but wisely also struck an agreement with neighbouring Johor State in southern Malaysia for water supply.


“Singapore is also a benchmark in desalination and potable quality recycling of wastewater. This enlightened and frugal attitude is epitomized by new water, the reclaimed water produced by Singapore’s Public Utilities Board. Let me use the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City as an example. It subsidises public housing and tries to eliminate barriers for the elderly and the disabled. Finally, it invests in integrated wastewater treatment, and non-traditional water sources like desalination, thereby it pushes sustainable ecosystem services. Global leaders must take note of the successes and failures of cities such as this,” the Prime Minister said. “For Sri Lanka or any other country to deal with these challenges, we need to politically and financially revitalize and empower local governments. The biggest issue in the management of mega-cities is that they involve many levels of Government and Local Authorities. Political power, in many of our countries, were distributed between the Central Government, the Provinces and the Local Authorities in the last century when concepts such as mega-cities and global connectivity had not even been thought of. Given that we will now have to exercise these powers for completely different objectives in a completely different environment, it is inevitable then that we must reconsider the structure of our local governments,” he added.

 

  • Singapore is also a benchmark in desalination and potable quality recycling of wastewater


“We must be aware of the new developments in urbanization.One characteristic of high-density living is the opportunity for a wide variety of people-to-people interactions.  “Driven by sophistication in electronic sensors for information capture, new generation high-speed internet for rapid information transmission or receipt, and artificial intelligence for making judgments based on the analysis of massive volumes of data, “things” are now communicating, both with each other and with humans. Around 35 billion “things” are connected to the Internet today. Cisco Systems estimates that this will rise to 50 billion by 2020, far exceeding the number of humans connected to the internet, estimated at around 4 billion persons using 25 billion apps. This can have an immense impact on the way we live in and govern cities. Consider something seemingly simple, like “smart” streetlights. A 2015 study by the Northeast Group estimated that cities around the world would invest $64 billion in LED and “smart” streetlights by 2025, along with sensors, communications, and analytics software that would make their street lighting infrastructure “smarter” he also said.

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