The mascot of Indonesia should be a leaping frog. It’s certainly the inspiration for the country’s cities.

City Mayors want to leapfrog Asia’s biggest cities and become new hubs for business. With youthful populations, they are keen to lure big corporations and encourage citizens to start new ones.

GovInsider has interviewed three city mayors of rising cities to find out their priorities for the next year.

Broadly, they share three priorities:

1 Digital services

Mayors are starting to implement digital services to make it easier for citizens to interact with government. An increasingly mobile-savvy population expects to access services on the go. They also turn to social media when things go wrong.

This has seen city mayors set up new social media units, launch crowdsourcing websites, track online conversations to understand citizen sentiments, and start launching apps. The Mayor of Surabaya has made government apps a top priority, as has the Mayor of Bandung.

Mayors are also using digital technology to simplify difficult processes and make it easier for people to set up businesses. Permit applications, for example, are paper-based and extremely lengthy. Digital cuts the time, and also can prevent corruption by cutting out the middle man.

2. Smart City Units

Indonesian City Mayors are reforming the structures of government to share data and pull information into the centre. Many have launched new Smart City Units, which are tasked with keeping track of key metrics and driving change through agencies.

Some are more powerful than others. But nearly every Mayor or a major city appears to be launching – or have launched – one.

3. Infrastructure

A top priority for most Indonesian cities is transport infrastructure. Badly built roads, poor bridges and limited public transport put businesses off from investing. Makassar is using smart technology to improve its buses, tracking them to ensure that drivers use correct routes and keep moving.

This is the second special report we have written on Indonesian cities. Our first interviewed four Indonesian city mayors at the end of last year, and we have updated following local elections.

Stay tuned for our interview with the Governor of Jakarta, the capital city, coming soon.

Now read the full interviews:

Mayor of Surabaya
Building a startup ecosystem

Mayor of Pekalongan
Bringing citizens into government

Mayor of Bogor
Getting to grips with digital