World Cities Day China Observance / Shanghai Award

Preah Sihanouk, Cambodia |  Updated:2023-11-08

Preah Sihanouk, located some 226 kilometers southwest of the capital city of Phnom Penh, accommodates Cambodia's only deepwater international port, and is strategically important for agriculture, forestry, fisheries, nature conservation and mineral exploration.

With a population of 89,200, Preah Sihanouk is becoming the center of trade, commerce, transportation and processing and manufacturing in Cambodia. Along with the development progress and rapid urbanization in the past few years, Preah Sihanouk is facing some challenges and key issues that need to be solved, including sustainable urban development, environmental issues, other social issues, insufficient human resources and others.

In its urban development strategy, Preah Sihanouk places special emphasis on the coordination and management of natural resources, focusing on urban and island development, expanding infrastructure, and the sustainability of population growth.


According to the Cambodian Digital Economy and Social Policy Framework 2021-35, the local authority has been jointly implementing and preparing for the necessary task of developing Preah Sihanouk into a smart, sustainable and environmentally friendly city. And the city’s vision for 2038 is to design and develop Preah Sihanouk as the core of sustainable development in Cambodia’s coastal region to promote economic growth, tourism and business, intelligence and environmental protection in the Royal Government’s plan outlined in the Preah Sihanouk Land Management Plan.

To achieve these ambitious goals, Preah Sihanouk rolled out a range of activities. Rather than just focusing on technology and capabilities, it is adopting a resident-centric approach to understand people’s diverse needs and preferences and effectively incorporate them into the design and implementation of smart city solutions that work for all. Smart parking is one of the components of the smart city solution. As a first step, it is planned to implement the project on a pilot site.  

Preah Sihanouk is also cooperating with the UN ESCAP to implement the Smart City Innovation Laboratory (SCIL) project funded by the China ESCAP Cooperation Program (CECP) in 2021. It has made the development of a smart city a strategic focus to promote sustainable urban development and improve residents’ quality of life, mainly in smart waste management, smart public transportation and tourism management information systems (MIS).

This year, with support from ESCAP and Seedstarts, Preah Sihanouk selected a startup to implement a pilot program aligned with one of the city’s priority areas of smart solid waste management.

In addition, Preah Sihanouk implemented green building projects to reduce the urgent risks associated with poor structures of houses and public facilities such as community centers, emergency service buildings, and address and prevent foreseeable events related to health and social problems for populations living in vulnerable settlements, such as poor indoor air quality, ventilation and lighting, and energy inefficiency.

Over the past several years, Preah Sihanouk has partnered with UN-Habitat to achieve several milestones regarding SDG goal 11 including the public awareness on wastewater management, capacity training to local authorities on solid waste and waste water management, and the Waste Wise City Tool survey, etc. With regards to climate change adaptation and mitigation, Preah Sihanouk collaborated with UN-Habitat to conduct climate change vulnerability assessment analyzing the impact of climate change on solid waste and wastewater management in 2023, laying a solid foundation for follow-up work.  


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