I was invited by Johor Smart City Forum on second day (13 June) as one of the panelist on Smart Community.

One of the questions that the moderator asked is:

Community engagement is a vital aspect of smart city development. How can smart solutions effectively involve and empower diverse groups within the community, including marginalized populations, to ensure an inclusive decision-making process and equitable access to smart city benefits.

The main points which I want to deliver is below:

The concept of Smart Cities is rapidly evolving from a futuristic vision to a tangible reality. However, for Smart Cities to truly thrive, they must be built around the people they serve – the citizens. In this blog, we will explore how adopting a citizen-centric perspective, and utilizing data from Citizen Engagement Apps and social media, can aid local councils in identifying and prioritizing the problems of citizens for building efficient smart city solutions.

Harnessing the Power of Citizen Engagement Apps:

Citizen Engagement Apps are a treasure trove of data and insights. These applications allow citizens to interact directly with local councils, provide feedback, and file complaints. The apps serve as a bridge, enabling an open line of communication between the citizens and the authorities. When a citizen encounters an issue, be it a pothole, a streetlight outage, or an environmental concern, they can instantly report it through the app.

Tapping Into Social Media Insights:

In addition to Citizen Engagement Apps, social media platforms are invaluable sources of data. Citizens often voice their concerns, frustrations, and suggestions on social media. By monitoring and analyzing this data, local councils can gain insights into recurring issues, urgent needs, and general sentiment regarding urban living conditions.

Combining Data to Understand Citizen Perspectives:

When the data from Citizen Engagement Apps is combined with insights drawn from social media, it paints a comprehensive picture of the challenges and needs of the citizens. This mosaic of information serves as the cornerstone for local councils to identify the key problems that need attention.

Prioritizing Smart City Solutions:

Armed with this rich data, local councils can move forward with a targeted approach in developing smart city solutions. They can prioritize issues that have the most significant impact on citizens’ lives, and strategically allocate resources to address them. This might involve improving public transportation, optimizing waste management, enhancing public safety, or any number of initiatives.

For instance, if data indicates a high volume of complaints regarding traffic congestion and pollution, the council could prioritize developing a smart traffic management system that reduces congestion and subsequently lowers pollution levels.


Building Smart Cities is not just about integrating cutting-edge technologies; it’s about creating urban environments that improve the quality of life for their inhabitants. By placing the citizen at the heart of the development process, and leveraging data from Citizen Engagement Apps and social media, local councils can ensure that Smart City solutions address real-world problems and create sustainable, livable, and efficient urban spaces for all.

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