Smart area boon for property demand

Sim Kiang Chiok

KUCHING: Incorporating different technologies to build a smart city provides a much livable and safer city for residents and tourists.

For a developer to build properties in a council area that uses smart city technologies in its administration and management will likely see a better demand of the property in the smart areas.

Smart city is defined as a city that uses ICT, technology and innovation advances to address issues, improve the quality of life, promote economic growth, develop sustainable and safe environment and encourage efficient urban management practices.

Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Kuching branch chairman Datuk Sim Kiang Chiok said that when an area uses smart city technology, it would be less risky and easier for the developer as there will be more demand for houses built in the smart area.

“This is because as services and security by the council are better, traffic flow is improved and overall living experience will be better than those areas that do not use any of the smart city technologies,” he said.

Sim stated that smart city technology will be more cost effective when more cities in the world use it as the economy of scale, and therefore will make it very affordable for the council.

“Our developer might also be able to integrate the smart home into the smart city to further enhance our living experience, for example, our house’s close-circuit television (CCTV) can be integrated into the smart city security application.

“Refuse collection (collection of rubbish and waste), street lighting, all might be able to be connected to send and receive complaints directly from our smart home to the smart utilities provider or council,” he said.

He added for instance the residents in Miri which is a smart city, now have better information, feedback on the services of the buses, refuse collections, a safer city with their CCTV being integrated with the council and police, better traffic flow, safer public parks, better and safer place for tourists to visit.

“It even helps to monitor the drain especially when there is blockage, smart signage at strategic areas to inform the public of important information and receiving feedback from the residents.

“All these are important factors to any residents in Sarawak where a council can provide services at the most needed places, thus reducing wastage and be more cost effective for the rate payer,” he said.

He added that with smart technologies, security gadgets such as panic buttons could be installed in strategic places for call of emergency help, smart traffic lights where traffic flow could be monitored to reduce jam and flash flood could be avoided and early warning could be sent out to affected areas. 

“In addition, parks and tourist attractions can be monitored by the smart gadgets for a safer experience,” he said.

Sim therefore lauded Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg as he has just taken over as the chief minister then and in a short period of time he has successfully implemented the first smart city in Miri.

“There is much to look forward to as we live in this new millennium with the new smart city technology and thanks to our progressive state government we are able to enjoy this convenience soon in all the major cities as announced by Abang Johari recently to turn Sarawak into a smart state,” he said.

On April 12, Abang Johari said Miri was the first smart city in the state and if the smart concept was proven to be efficient it would be extended to other major cities in Sarawak.

“We might extend the applications to other cities in Sarawak when it is clear that they can help the city council improve people’s lives. We will start with Kuching, followed by Sibu and Bintulu.

“As of today, all applications used by Miri City Council (MCC) have positive feedback. Congratulations to the council for having established the system,” he said.