By Chee Kit Ho, Senior Director, Corporate Accounts and FM Support, Singapore

Singapore, like many other prime city locations in the Asia Pacific region, faces challenges such as traffic jams, over-crowding, and an increasing rise in the cost of living expenses. With rapid economic growth comes what underpins it all – people.

According to estimates, Singapore’s total population is expected to hit six million by 2020. This growth will have a significant impact on real estate in the country, as the city continues to leverage on technologies and source for solutions that streamline mobility and maximise space for its residents to live, work and play.

Although we are striving towards a more technologically progressive society through the implementation of smart cities in Singapore, it is essential that many of the initiatives that pave the way to a digitized future also preserve a city’s heart and soul, represented by its history and culture.

While there is no magic formula for success, corporates, government and the community can cooperate, collaborate and coordinate efforts to seek out smart city solutions that are agile and robust, yet thoughtful.

One of the trends mentioned in a recent Straits Times article was how Singapore has transitioned from a locally focused development market, built mainly for owner occupation, to a globalised market.

In keeping up with the macro-business environment, companies offering facilities management will need to be able to harness the benefits of a global network, coupled with local knowledge as well as good institutional relationships, in order to successfully connect Singapore’s heart and soul to its future.

For example, in the United States, an initiative is being rolled out to produce signs that can explain the amount of time it takes to walk between popular destinations. Aside from helping people to move around the city in a sustainable manner, it can also be used to raise awareness about any cultural or historical significance related to that destination.

The move to deepen and update skillsets that can enable such initiatives is in line with Singapore’s future plans to build its first Enterprise District. As Singapore strives to continue to be a prime investment target for the international investment community, the key to building depth in local knowledge with a global perspective cannot be more crucial and important.

Ho Chee Kit_SmallChee Kit heads the Corporate Client group, and provides overall leadership for operational excellence, account management, and financial performance focusing on corporate customers. In addition, he is responsible for the Building Engineering team and Contact Centre, and ensures the smooth delivery of facility management services to meet client needs.