Expansion of range of options on financing smart city initiatives pushed

Expansion of range of options on financing smart city initiatives pushed

LOCAL government units (LGUs) can work with private and public stakeholders to expand the range of options in financing smart city initiatives, according to a research paper published by the think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (Pids).

“The conduct of PPP (public-private partnership) smart city projects should be explored more as an additional option, given the emphasis placed on its potential in the reviewed literature and cases of international cities,” it said in a paper.

The Pids said LGUs can work with the PPP Center to build their capacity to implement PPP projects and conduct feasibility studies.

As smart city development is recognized as a potential solution to urbanization issues, the Pids said engagements with stakeholders also open opportunities in terms of financing relevant projects.

“Ultimately, engagements with stakeholders in smart city initiatives, including those implemented by the private sector, should be supported by ordinances, resolutions, and/or MOAs (memorandums of agreement) to help ensure sustainability,” it added.

The paper said some private sector stakeholders involved in smart city initiatives were interviewed, including four development organizations and seven businesses.

These interviewed development organizations are supporting smart city development’s infrastructure and data phase through networking, financing, and providing service and technical support.

“Those involved in the infrastructure phase help capacitate LGUs and even link them to businesses that can provide infrastructure technology involving focus areas of quality environment. In contrast, those in the data phase provide data-relevant technology involving safety, security, and built infrastructure,” it added.

Also among the recommendations in the Pids study is for the country to consider branding its cities as smart.

“Regardless of the potential pitfalls, branding should still be considered an enabler because of its ability to attract investments,” it said.

“Establishing a brand for technology and innovation-powered Philippine cities can unlock opportunities to gain additional investments for government projects. The brand should be echoed by complementary policies to reflect the commitment to realizing the vision,” it added. (PHILEXPORT)


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