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The government has been discussing plans to turn three of the Kingdom’s cities into “smart cities”, more environmentally friendly urban hubs that improve the standard of living for locals and make them more attractive to tourists.

Minister of Civil Service Prum Sokha noted that a smart city is not just defined by its incorporation of digital advances, but also by the increasing of its livability. The minister spoke at yesterday’s opening ceremony of the Virtual Conference on Smart City Planning.

As many as 80 percent of the population will move to cities, he said, making it important to start planning ways to improve their infrastructure.

Phnom Penh, Battambang and Siem Reap have been selected to take part in ASEAN’s Smart Cities Network, which was founded during the 32nd summit of the 10 Southeast Asian nations in 2018. They will work on reaching ASEAN’s common goal of achieving smart, sustainable urban development in 26 cities around the region by 2025.

Sokha told conference delegates they need to focus on areas such as jobs, food, transportation, communication, education, healthcare, security, electricity and clean water.

Phnom Penh’s smart city action plan will focus on improving the environment and the quality of life of its residents, according to Secretary of State of the Interior Ministry Ngy Chanphal, who is also the ASEAN Smart Cities Network National Representative of Cambodia.

He said the plan for Battambang is to boost social responsibility and create a clean environment while maintaining the province’s specialties, while the aim for Siem Reap is to make it a more attractive tourist destination while maintaining its cultural heritage.

Sihanoukville is working on a separate smart city planned with funding from the Investing in Infrastructure (3i) programme.

Bokor City is also trying to attract foreign investors and tourists with a smart city plan, which will also preserve the area’s heritage and develop it as an eco-tourism destination.

The one-day virtual conference was organised by Singapore’s Temasek Foundation and the Cambodian Ministry of Civil Service in cooperation with the Royal School of Administration of Cambodia and the Civil Service College of Singapore.

Around 200 people took part, including senior government officials, provincial and municipal governors. It was held under the presidency of the Minister of Civil Service along with Singapore Ambassador Teo Lay Cheng and Benedict Cheong, chief executive officer of Temasek Foundation International.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Michael Firn

Quelle/Source: Khmer Times, 13.07.2021

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