ASEAN Smart Cities Network’s (ASCN) Role in Facilitating Progressive Urban Development in the Region

As ASCN Chair (2022-2023) supported by Singapore as the ASCN Shepherd, Indonesia led ASCN in stepping up efforts to promoting smart, sustainable cities.

September 2023 | Report

The 6th Annual Meeting of the ASCN convened in-person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) and SNDGO (Smart Nation and Digital Government Office) attended in our capacity as Singapore’s National Representative and Chief Smart Cities Officer, respectively, to the Network.


Singapore joined 25 other ASCN Member Cities and three candidature cities, and presented our national digitalisation efforts for the National Digital Identity, E-payments and Smart Nation schemes. We also discussed other initiatives to enhance collaborative efforts for the advancement of the ASEAN bloc’s pursuit for sustainable urban development and liveable cities.


Notably, Singapore also handed over the role of ASCN Shepherd to the next successor - a role that we had held since the launch of the ASCN in 2018 during Singapore’s tenure as ASEAN Chair. In the four years (two terms) as ASCN Shepherd, Singapore had supported successive ASEAN Chairs in growing the Network in strength and recently, in numbers too. The respective Smart City Action Plans have since progressed much and encouraged knowledge-sharing to benefit the 26 pilot ASCN Member Cities in their urban development ambitions. Additionally, the ASCN has built strong links with Dialogue, Sectoral, Developmental and other Partners, with smart cities being incorporated as a key cooperation in ASEAN’s various partnerships. With Indonesia taking over as the new ASCN Shepherd, we are confident of the ASCN’s stronger role and contribution to the region.


Singapore is also very happy to see the expansion of the ASCN Membership, with three new cities from Thailand – Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and Rayong – following the Network’s decision at the 5th Annual Meeting in 2022 to take in new ASEAN city members by up to three cities per ASEAN Member State (AMS) over 2022-2023. We are supportive of the expansion as this would enhance the sharing of expertise and cooperation among the 10 AMSes while improve the scalability for ASEAN External Partners who wish to engage the ASCN.


The camaraderie of the Network was strongly felt at the meeting in Bali, and Singapore is positive of the impact that the Network will have in its Member Cities. We would like to thank Indonesia for its strong leadership as ASCN Chair and will continue our support of the Network and its incoming Chair, Lao PDR.



Writer’s Bio:


Mary-Anne Pan
Deputy Director (International Capability Development Programmes)
Centre for Liveable Cities


Mary-Anne resides in the Capability Development arm of CLC, where she leads the team in developing International Programmes on urban development, governance and resilience. Targeted at mid to senior-level foreign city officials, the Programmes instil a deep understanding of Singapore’s approach to pursuing sustainable urban development, through the lens of the Singapore Liveability Framework, and encourage the application of these principles.