Smart Towns – What’s that?

By : Nur Hafizah
16 September 2014

Devices that “communicate” with one another, appliances that can be activated through motion sensors and more – this is no longer a fictional account of the future dreamed up by science fiction writers and movie producers.


This vision of the future may not be that far-off, once HDB’s Smart Town Framework gets underway.


Earlier this year, there was news that all HDB flats launched from the January BTO sales exercise will be fitted with a standard suite of eco-features to enable a greener and more sustainable lifestyle, HDB has now developed a Smart HDB Town Framework to further enhance liveability, sustainability, efficiency and safety in its towns and estates.


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will be harnessed in building new HDB towns, with the focus on four dimensions – Smart Planning, Smart Estate, Smart Environment and Smart Living. As an HDB resident, the latter two dimensions caught my eye.


Punggol Northshore will be HDB’s first Smart and eco-friendly district

Here’s why:

In a Smart Environment, there will be real-time sensing of the environment and Smart notice boards installed in common areas to display real-time data of the air quality and weather conditions (no more heading out on a seemingly sunny day only to be caught in a heavy downpour in the next hour!) The system could also display the total energy consumed, water used and recyclables collected for each block in the neighbourhood. For cooler spaces, sensor-driven fans installed in common areas will maintain comfortable conditions throughout the year, while energy-saving at the same time.


Intelligent homes created under Smart Living equate to safer, energy-saving, and ultimately, cost-saving homes. For example, a new Home Energy Management System (HEMS) will allow residents to gauge and monitor electrical consumption at home. The Smart Elderly Alert System detects irregular movements via sensors in an elderly’s home, and sends alerts to a caregiver or next-of-kin. And in-home ICT infrastructure also allows appliances and devices to “talk” to each other via a common platform, so you can control home appliances through one management system.


I’m now waiting for my BTO flat keys, and can’t help but envy future Punggol Northshore residents who would own homes in HDB’s first Smart and eco-friendly district… But as an eco-warrior, I’m also happy to know that HDB is continually working on sustainable initiatives to improve residents’ lives.


Want to know more about HDB’s Smart Town Framework? Check out the Dwellings article “Crossing the Next Frontier”.






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