Indonesia, Australia Agree “Smart-City” Should Improve Social Welfare

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Jakarta, 13/9 (Lei) – Some Indonesian and Australian scholars and government officials here, Tuesday, agreed that the development of smart cities currently taking place in both nations should promote not only technological progress but also the people’s welfare.

“The smart city development initiative initially aimed at not only enhancing our knowledge but also increasing our minimum standard of living,” Research, Technology, and Higher Education Ministry’s Science Resources Director General, Ali Ghufron Mukti, noted in his opening remarks during a discussion in Jakarta, Tuesday. Hence, Mukti said the Research and Technology Ministry has committed to supporting the local governments develop smart cities in the past years.

“I believe it is very important to talk not only in terms of technology but also its impact on improving the performance of local governments,” he remarked, while adding, Jakarta had started the initiative by launching the “Jakarta Smart City” integrated platform in 2014.

However, before replicating the platform in other cities, the director admitted, the ministry is currently still observing the implementation of the program in Jakarta.

“We have some programs, including scholarships, student exchanges, and the visits of scholars of the two countries (Indonesia and Australia) to work together in the (smart city) program,” he noted.

During the “Role of Smart Citizenship in Smart Cities: Lessons Learned” seminar, Australia’s Commercial Minister and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Sally Ann-Watts, also lauded the Jakarta provincial government’s efforts to establish the smart city platform.

“In Australia, universities are working closely with the industry and cities to develop smart cities, and I am very pleased to see similar efforts currently being undertaken in some big cities in Indonesia,” she stated.

“It is very impressive to see the works of some local governments in Jakarta and Bandung. Two leading cities in Indonesia are now establishing the smart city platform in order to provide a higher standard of living for the people,” she noted.

Ann-Watts further expressed belief that Indonesia and Australia will continue to work together and help each other to transform the cities to become more “liveable” while simultaneously improving the people’s welfare.

Meanwhile, Governor of Jakarta Province Djarot Saiful Hidayat, who was represented by his Head of Information and Statistics Dian Ekowati, noted that the local authority is currently focusing on three issues, such as good governance and bureaucracy, connecting systems, and engaging citizens.

“In order to achieve our three missions, the authority has launched the Jakarta Smart City website offering some information and applications, such as Qlue,” Ekowati noted.

The application has served as a platform for the people to submit reports and complaints related to public services provided by the Jakarta provincial government.

“After its launch in the past, we have improved our services and reduced the response time to public reports, from 21 hours to nine hours,” she explained.

Apart from the application aimed at improving public services, the local authority has also digitized micro-middle businesses through the #kakilimajakarta platform.

“The platform was a collaboration between the DKI Jakarta Cooperatives and Small-Middle Enterprises Offices and some startups, such as Zomato and Go-Food,” she added.

Ekowati said, the smart-city platform has helped the local government understand and supervise human resources in an efficient manner.

As the organizer of the workshop and seminar, UTS: Insearch, the subsidiary of the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), also expressed its commitment to facilitating collaboration between governments, scholars, and industries in Indonesia and Australia under the smart city development initiative.

“Our agency has acknowledged that some problems were faced in establishing a smart city in Jakarta and New South Wales (NSW), each of which is a city/state in Indonesia and Australia respectively. Hence, we invite some experts in this field to expand our knowledge and perspective on the sustainable smart city project,” Managing Director of UTS:Insearch Alex Murphy remarked.

Apart from some official representatives of Indonesia and Australia, the seminar was also attended by some experts in the smart city program, such as UTS professors Anthony Burke and Rob Roggema, UTS associate professor Nimish Biloria, professor of the Bandung Technology Institute Suhono Supangkat, and Director of Jakarta’s Smart City Unit Setiaji. (/Ant)

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