Report indicates China progress in building a smart city

The four-day 2017 World Internet of Things Expo kicks off in eastern China's Wuxi city on September 10, 2017. (Photo from CFP)
The four-day 2017 World Internet of Things Expo kicks off in eastern China's Wuxi city on September 10, 2017. (Photo from CFP)

China’s Wuxi, Yinchuan and Hangzhou have emerged in a global smart city performance ranking in 2017, with Wuxi ranking the 17th on the list, according to a recent study by a UK-based market researcher Juniper Research.

The index ranks the top 20 global smart cities by looking at the integration of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and connected services across four key areas: mobility, health care, public safety and productivity, listing Singapore, London and New York as the top three cities.

Cities on the list have all integrated IoT with urban construction, yielding results such as smart parking services that guide vehicles to unoccupied parking areas and smart highway toll collection systems.

More than 1,000 cities around the world are ready for or under construction to be smart ones, according to a report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu this March, adding that China leads the world in the number of smart cities under construction, and the country is home to several city clusters.

Wuxi in east China’s Jiangsu province is the country’s only sensor network innovation and demonstration zone, as well as the only prefecture-level cloud computing innovation and service city.

The city establishes an optical fiber network, and a big data ecosystem is taking shape which integrates urban big data center, e-governance, urban management, economic operation and civil affairs service and information platform.

“Smart” has become the urgent requirement of urban planning and construction, as big cities are faced with rising challenges from traffic congestion and shortages in resources.

China has taken great efforts to support emerging technologies such as IoT technologies, big data and artificial intelligence.

The country launched the first batch of pilot smart cities in 2013. By the end of April 2017, more than 500 cities said they are ready for or are building smart cities, and 300 of them have teamed up with companies like China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Ant Financial and Tencent for smart city construction.

Chinese cities, such as Wuxi and Weifang are now well-known in the world as smart cities. Weifang was selected as one of the 4 case studies for its integration of IoT on October 15, 2017, during the World Economic Forum in Davos.

China is keen to build smart cities, and the industry will enter into a new phase of development as detailed urban management has moved forward, and the government is paying more attention to improving people’s sense of happiness, as well as their living and working environment, according to Ma Jionglin, a senior Deloitte partner.

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