Value of a Digital Masterplan for the Success of a Smart City

February 2, 2021 4:49 am

jeremy hore - Alkira Consulting

With CEO of Alkira ConsultingJeremy Hore

1.  What is a Digital Master Plan (for a Smart District)?

Any major urban development project has a master plan that provides a physical design of the site and framework for construction & development. It will consider not only the built environment but also its impact on people, the environment, transportation and the economy.

A Digital Master Plan is the same thing, except that it deals with the Digital Layer of that site or district. It gives a vision and design of a smart district, together with a framework for implementation.

One key aspect to bear in mind is that a Smart District has several types of stakeholders including:

  • City Government,
  • Residents,
  • Business and Factory Owners,
  • Workers coming into the area
  • Visitors

To ensure successful adoption of the services offered it is essential to take into account the different perspectives of what these stakeholders want.  This will be part of the Digital Master Plan process.


2. How does a Digital Master Plan differ for a new district/Green-field versus an existing district/Brownfield?

In both cases you start with the target state. What kind of experiences and digital services do we want for the district? How can technology enable the vision? What underlying technology infrastructure is needed to achieve that?

The only difference is in the case of a Greenfield you are building from zero, there is no legacy. So it is easier in a way! With brownfield designs you must consider the legacy infrastructure and how to get from current state to target state. Therefore, you need a transition & transformation plan for that.

3. What are lessons learned from Smart District projects which have not met their original objectives?

Four key points to consider:

  • If you really want to create something unique and compelling, do not think about legacy infrastructure first as it puts too may constraints. Focus on what could be done without any constraints. Then when you have a good vision and design, consider how to get from current to target.
  • Focus at district level rather than city level. Cities are organic. That is what makes them vibrant and dynamic. Nobody wants to live in a homogenous environment
  • Avoid lock-in with a few big tech vendors as it will limit innovation. It is better to create a really diverse ecosystem of organisations as new ideas come from everywhere.
  • Keep the digital master plan fresh and dynamic. Technologies evolve, so while the vision and overall strategy may remain the same, the digital services and technologies should be continually improving.


4. Key success stories from Alkira delivered Digital Masterplan’s?

Alkira has applied its digital masterplanning approach to multiple World Expo’s to design and realise their vision. Alkira also supports World Expos to develop their legacy Digital Master Plan for an intelligent business and residential district

5. What do you see as the key differentiators in an Alkira/DOTS led Digital Master Plan for Indonesia?

At this time, very few companies are considering the importance of the Digital Layer in urban development. Digital Technologies are considered at an infrastructure level only (e.g. Telecommunications or Building Management Systems), but nobody is designing experiences that are seamless and compelling for tenants, residents and visitors. If you really want to attract companies, residents, events and visitors to your district you need to create an environment where people want to be.

A combination of Alkira’s experience working with some of the major “Smart Initiatives” worldwide along with DOTS who brings extensive local knowledge of the Indonesian market makes us an effective team.  Our focus is to be your trusted advisor for the life of your project and not just at the initial stage.  Having the permanent local presence in Indonesia with DOTS shows our commitment to be there with you long-term.

That is where we make the difference!

For more information on engaging Alkira in Indonesia – please contact us at

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