CityNet and Microsoft CityNext collaborate to ‘build better cities’
By Digital News Asia November 20, 2013
- Pact will help CityNet members leverage power of cloud technologies to reduce cost and increase efficiency
- Microsoft to guide them in development of solutions that support people-centric approach to engaging citizens
CITYNET (The Regional Network of Local Authorities for the Management of Human Settlements), and Microsoft CityNext have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see both parties collaborate to help cities across Asia tackle many of their biggest challenges.
These challenges include urban migration and decreased budgetary resources, Microsoft said in a statement.
CityNet members will benefit from Microsoft CityNext’s approach to empowering government, businesses and citizens to shape the future of their city, the company claimed.
Microsoft will provide tools and training resources to build the capabilities of CityNet members in cyber security, disaster management and recovery.
It will also help them leverage the power of cloud-based computing technologies to reduce costs and increase efficiencies; provide a comprehensive needs assessment; and support members by providing guidance to develop innovative solutions that support a people-centric approach to engage citizens and enable sustainable cycles of innovation, opportunity and progress for cities, the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant said.
CityNet started in 1986 with 26 members, aiming to help local governments improve the sustainability of human settlements. It has grown to become an international organisation of more than 100 members in more than 20 countries, most of which are cities and local governments in the Asia Pacific region.
The organisation connects local governments, civil society and the private sector to exchange knowledge and best practices aimed at building people-centred, sustainable and resilient cities across the region.
“Governments and city administrators in Asia are recognising that technology, partnerships and knowledge-sharing are key in building an innovative city model that works for today and sustains tomorrow,” said Mary Jane Ortega (pic, right), Secretary-General of CityNet.
“However, working with cities should go beyond building technology solutions, as the private sector must also help in fostering innovation which builds a vibrant economy and helps cities raise their competitiveness.
“Microsoft is unique in its ability to enable CityNet’s people-first approach, and we look forward to moving forward,” she added.
CityNext is a Microsoft programme that the company claims helps cities take advantage of existing resources to build a sustainable model of innovation to support eight critical functions: Government administration, public safety, healthcare, buildings, tourism, education, transportation, and energy and water.
It includes a broad portfolio of products and technologies, a global network of partners, and the company’s experience in running education and social programmes.
“With 100,000 people migrating to cities in Asia each day, the pressure is mounting as city administrators look to Microsoft to provide better, more cost-effective infrastructure and services,” said Stefan Sjöström (pic above, left), vice president of Asia Public Sector at Microsoft.
“Through this partnership with Citynet, we hope to engage with mayors on how to do new with less by transforming operations and infrastructure, engaging citizens and businesses, as well as accelerating innovation and opportunity,” he added.
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