November 4, 2019

Smart Sisters: City-to-City Learning and "Twinning"

The U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership (USASCP) will facilitate bridging between cities in the U.S. and the 26 cities of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) with the goal of expanding the network of peer cities that can learn from one another, implementing the ASCN's global partners concept. The USASCP can provide introductions, look for appropriate matches based on city interests and goals, and fund visits. Individual city pairs will define their goals and write letters of intent (LOIs) or complete memoranda of understanding (MOUs).


As stated in the publication ASEAN Smart Cities Network released by the Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2018:

"While the ASCN's membership is regional, its reach is envisioned to be truly global. One of its core goals is to find suitable collaborators among governments, businesses and financial institutions across the globe, leveraging ASEAN's existing network of External Partners to forge mutually beneficial partnerships beyond the ASEAN region."

External Partners can provide a global profile of solution providers and potential "twin" cities. As noted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the Global City Teams Challenge – Smart and Secure Cities and Communities Challenge (GCTC-SC3), many of today's smart community development efforts are isolated and customized projects. To encourage collaboration and the development of standards, NIST established the GCTC to help communities benefit from the experience of others to improve efficiency and lower costs. NIST, along with its partners, acts as a matchmaker and incubator facilitating, advising, encouraging, nurturing, and publicizing the action clusters and their projects. Since the programs launched in September 2014, GCTC has recruited and incubated over 200 action clusters with participation from over 150 cities and 400 companies/organizations from around the world.


The USASCP will act as a matchmaker between ASCN and U.S. cities, and "smart sisters" pairs can be pursued and established any time. The Office of Multilateral Affairs in the State Department Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs will carrying out creating "smart sisters" in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Helen Santiago Fink
Program Manager