French integrated energy company EDF has unveiled two initiatives in Singapore to strengthen its role in urban planning and smart city infrastructure in major Asian metropolitan areas, the company announced at the World Cities Summit this week.

EDF will open the Asian Sustainable Cities Centre of Excellence in Singapore with the aim of developing new collaborations with agencies of the city state as well as other cities in the South-East Asian region.

This follows a cooperation agreement signed last year between EDF and the Housing and Development Board [HDB] of Singapore, the country’s main urban housing builder, to develop an urban modeling IT tool.

The new platform is a systemic approach to urban planning that incorporates energy and environmental considerations, as well as water, waste and transport from the conception phase.

The tool is a first step in the development of an EDF offer targeted at local representatives and technical services of large cities.

Bernard Salha, senior vice executive president of R&D, at EDF, commented on the company’s Asian strategy: ”The first results of our urban system modelling platform establish the added value of our collaboration with HDB.

“It also demonstrates EDF’s expertise for global integrated approaches of cities and territories.

He added: “The R&D centre creation is an additional step in EDF’s ambition to provide Singapore as well as main Asian cities with its expertise.”

Smart home pilot

Meanwhile, another collaboration to come out of the summit, held in Singapore, was a memorandum of understanding signed between HDB and Panasonic to conduct a year-long study to explore the possibility of implementing time-of-use electricity rate packages and integrating features such as a home energy management system and energy aggregation models into new multi-dweller homes.

Findings from the study will allow the three parties to assess the feasibility of implementing the smart home energy pilot at the 38 HDB blocks in Yuhua estate, designated by HDB as the Greenprint neighbourhood in Jurong East of Singapore.

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