Industry luminaries weigh in on opportunities and strategies for enabling smart and sustainable urban transformation in ASEAN at Shape the World Conference 2018

Emphasis on people-centric design in transforming urban landscapes and shaping identities resonated among speakers throughout the conference
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Singapore. Business leaders, policy makers and developers across various disciplines in urban development congregated at Shape the World Conference this year, which was held at the National Design Centre on July 6, to discuss opportunities and strategies for enabling sustainable smart cities and urban transformation in ASEAN. The conference was jointly organised by CPG Consultants, a subsidiary of CPG Corporation, and Consulus; and supported by the DesignSingapore Council.The conference opened with a thought-provoking address on what defined a smart city. The importance of harnessing technology in fostering a closer connection between human beings, and leveraging the power of co-creation in designing urban landscapes for functional, meaningful and emotional differentiations, were highlighted.

The notion of putting the ‘city’ first in any smart city design was put forward, placing emphasis on people, places and activities rather than technology in order to shape a city and make it viable, resilient and sustainable in the long run.

The future Singapore was cited as an example as a ‘loveable’ city brimming with thoughtful technological innovations that put people at the heart of design – where one could place a hologram call with his or her loved ones and order a pizza for lunch that would be delivered via drones while trolling along the beach on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Designing future identities for ASEAN cities

The first half of the conference was focused on building unique identities for cities in ASEAN, where industry luminaries shared use cases and discussed pertinent issues.

The concept and application of vertical greenery to urban spaces were presented as a use case on creating a distinct identity for a high-rise urban environment in Singapore. Saradise, the smart-city integrated township located in Kuching which features intelligent smart living concept combined with Sarawak-inspired designs, was also shared as best practices. By unifying and incorporating the Sarawak identity, arts and ecology with urban design, Saradise created a unique living experience and inspired the people in Sarawak to live their lives in a way never thought possible.

Development of ASEAN cities in a new world order

Other speakers also exchanged ideas on how ASEAN cities should be developed in a new world order where growth within Southeast Asia would continue to be driven by rapid urbanisation – with more than 90 million more people expected to be urbanised by 2020.

“Countries in the ASEAN region are expected to undergo rapid urbanisation as more people move to cities, causing the region’s urbanised population proportion to surge from 47 per cent in 2014 to a projected 65 per cent in 2050,” said Tan Shao Yen, CEO of CPG Consultants. “This could lead to economic, societal and environmental issues, including resource scarcity, air pollution and deforestation. It is therefore vital to explore viable and innovative viewpoints and methodologies that will help design our cities in such a way that not only meets the specific needs of those living in them, but also in a sustainable and engaging manner that will inspire future generations.”

Additionally, the use of smart technology in transforming urban landscapes was underscored by how the Internet of Things (IoT) platform could be leveraged to integrate the physical and virtual worlds, so as to yield automation, overall efficiency and economic benefits for a city or community.

Conference speakers by order of appearance:

  • Mark Wee, Executive Director, DesignSingapore Council
  • Tan Shao Yen, CEO, CPG Consultants
  • Lawrence Chong, CEO, Consulus
  • Helena Pham, Partner, Consulus
  • Larry Ng Hock Lye, Group Director, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA)
  • Dato Chris Chung – Group CEO, Saradise
  • Kuan Chee Yung, Senior Vice President, CPG Consultants
  • Karthik Karkal, Senior Vice President, CPG Consultants
  • Ong Choon Fah, CEO, Edmund Tie & Company
  • Edward Gunawan, Corporate Strategy Director, Damai Putra Group
  • Sri Rajah, CEO, Stream Environmental
  • Sharon Kam, Head for Creative Strategies, Consulus
  • Andre Toh, Partner, Ernst & Young
  • Adam Fowler, Director, Vihajico Investment
  • Swaroop Balakrishnan, Regional Sales Director for Asia Pacific, BOSCH Software Innovations
  • Dr Sekhar Kondepudi, Associate Professor, National University of Singapore (NUS)

About CPG Corporation

CPG Corporation (CPG Corp) is in the business of shaping enduring spaces for today and the future.

As the corporatised entity of the former Public Works Department of Singapore, CPG has played a part in shaping Singapore’s skyline with landmark developments such as Singapore Changi Airport, Gardens by the Bay, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, National Gallery Singapore, as well as the National University of Singapore (NUS) campus.

Together with more than 2,000 talented individuals in the CPG group of companies, CPG Corp is one of the leading development professionals in the Asia-Pacific region, providing a full spectrum of infrastructure and building development and management services. Today, the company operates in seven countries, and has established a presence in four key regions including Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America.

To learn more about CPG Corp, please visit or follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Consulus

Consulus is a global innovation consultancy with multidisciplinary business and design capabilities. Since 2004, their UNIFY methodology has helped companies gain new capabilities and competitive advantage by redesigning their business models, organisational cultures and brand experiences. This enables them to sharpen their capacity to innovate and meet the challenges of Industry 4.0.

The custom-built solutions that Consulus offers have allowed their clients to increase revenue by over 138%, expand to overseas markets, develop new products and intellectual property and prepare the next generation of leaders to drive and sustain high-growth. Today, Consulus is present in Singapore (World Centre), Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, India, Italy, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United States of America, and Vietnam.
Consulus is a member of the Economy of Communion business network.

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