In a world of smartphones, smart cards and smart TV, Singapore is seeking to be a Smart Nation - one which uses new technology to improve the quality of life for all.
That was the picture of the country's future painted by President Tony Tan Keng Yam yesterday.
New technological solutions will be used to make urban living safer, cleaner and greener, and increase the transport options here.
The elderly will also be better cared for at home, citizens will have more chances to participate in civic life, and public services will be more responsive.
"We will make full use of new technologies to develop sustainable and innovative solutions that improve our lives," said Dr Tan.
More details will be given by the various ministries next week.
In his speech, Dr Tan stressed the importance of making Singapore a good home in which people can thrive.
"Singapore cannot be just a marketplace in the global economy. For every one of us, it is first and foremost our home," he said.
To improve the living environment for Singaporeans, the Government will continue to upgrade the heartlands.
Housing Board neighbourhoods will be connected to a more extensive and convenient transport network, and be near green corridors and waterways, as well as sports and leisure facilities.
But there will also be more demands on amenities, infrastructure and resource as Singapore becomes more complex and diverse, Dr Tan acknowledged.
This is where more new technologies can make life better for everyone, he added.
Such technologies are already being used.
New HDB estates are already being designed using a computer simulation programme, which lets planners optimise wind flow and reduce heat levels.
Public housing residents in 12 town councils can also use the iTown@SG smartphone app to report defects and maintenance issues in their neighbourhood.
Beyond having good infrastructure, a good home also reflects the best of its people, said Dr Tan.
Singapore must keep on being a place where people of different races, religions and backgrounds live harmoniously together.
"We also have new immigrants and foreigners amongst us, who contribute to our society and economy. Let us treat them with graciousness, kindness and fellowship, even as we expect them to respect our values and our Singaporean way of life," he added.
This article was published on May 17 in The Straits Times.
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