The multi-sectoral networking inherent in Regional Development Councils (RDC) and closely collaborating with the private sector will play an important role in developing smart cities.

Prof. Hussein Lidasan, dean of the UP School of Urban and Regional Planning, stressed this during a webinar-training titled “Developing Smart Cities in Central Visayas” organized by the RDC 7 as part of its series of webinar-trainings. The event was held last 24 November 2021 via Zoom and streamed live on Facebook.

NEDA 7 Regional Director and RDC 7 Vice Chairperson Efren B. Carreon said in his opening remarks that knowing the basic principles of developing smart cities is relevant to the region’s highly urbanized and component cities and municipalities.

“Areas that are not yet highly urbanized have the opportunity to plan their respective towns and cities and make them more livable, safe and secure, modern and sustainable,” he added.

RDC’s role

Dean Lidasan said when local government units (LGUs) decide to develop smart cities, officials should ensure that the design, technology, and infrastructure involved could improve the quality of life despite natural and budgetary constraints, ensure balanced inclusive green growth, ensure preparedness during calamities and disasters, and address or minimize the impacts of development.

Dean Lidasan also said that one benefit of Central Visayas from having smart cities, given its geography, is an improved intermodal logistics network that can foster economic cooperation.

What the RDC can do, he added, is to help identify the weak points of LGUs holistically and see how they can complement each other in terms of resources and what types of development to introduce to ensure an environmentally sustainable development.

He also stressed the need to collaborate with other sectors such as the academe, private sector, and technology providers to come up with a road map and identify how to address issues in infrastructure, security, privacy, community engagement, and social inclusion.