Manila Is Only Southeast Asian City Chosen in Global Smart Cities Alliance

The Philippines’ capital city has been chosen as a pioneer city for a new global roadmap for safely adopting and using new technology responsibly. Manila will join 35 other cities in 22 countries in the World Economic Forum’s G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance. 

According to Smart Cities World, the chosen cities will adopt policies for privacy protection, better broadband coverage, accountability for cybersecurity, increased openness of city data, and better accessibility to digital city services for disabled and elderly people. 

Manila is the only city in Southeast Asia chosen for the initiative. According to Businessworld, Manila’s participation in the alliance was facilitated by LAB.PH, the technology consulting arm of the Roxas-Kalaw Foundation for the Eradication of Poverty, and the Good City Foundation, a Hong Kong-based multilateral development organization focused on policy formation, technology adoption, and business and investment opportunities in developing countries. 

“The city is honored to share our policies alongside progressive nations and to help improve our methods through collaboration and adopting technology to help face any present or future adversity,” Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, mayor of Manila City, said in a press statement, according to Businessworld.

The policies the cities will formulate and adopt is also expected to boost foreign and local investments and complement other urban initiatives. 

WEF chose the 36 “pioneer cities” that will kickstart the roadmap and will collaborate with global experts to enhance their city policies, in areas ranging from privacy protection and cybersecurity to better services for disabled people and better broadband coverage. 


“This roadmap is not about theoretical ideas and pipe dreams, it is built on practical, real-world policies from leading cities around the globe,” said Jeff Merritt, head of the Internet of Things and urban transformation, World Economic Forum. “City governments are on the frontline of a global crisis and need to be able to act quickly and decisively to curtail this pandemic and set course for their economic recovery. 

Besides Manila, the 35 other pioneer cities are: Apeldoorn, Netherlands; Barcelona, Spain; Belfast, UK; Bengaluru, India; Bilbao, Spain; Bogotá, Colombia; Brasilia, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Chattanooga, US; Cordoba, Argentina; Daegu, South Korea; Dubai, UAE; eThekwini (Durban), South Africa; Faridabad, India; Gaziantep, Turkey; Hamamatsu, Japan; Hyderabad, India; Indore, India; Istanbul, Turkey; Kaga, Japan; Kakogawa, Japan; Kampala, Uganda; Karlsruhe, Germany; Leeds, UK; Lisbon, Portugal; London, UK; Maebashi, Japan; Medellín, Colombia; Melbourne, Australia; Mexico City, Mexico; Milan, Italy; Moscow, Russia; Newcastle, Australia; San José, US; and Toronto, Canada.

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Paul John Caña
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