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Scholars discuss how to advance smart city construction

Author  :  WEI SIYU     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2020-06-26

A smart city can be seen as an important way to promote the modernization of urban governance systems and capabilities. With new information technologies continuously springing up, the construction of China’s smart cities has entered the 3.0 era.

A smart city is a new mode of urban development. With the major help of the internet of things, cloud computing and big data, smart cities integrate urban systems and services to realize the deep collaboration of informatization, industrialization and urbanization, thereby improving the efficiency of resource utilization, streamlining urban management and services, raising the living quality of citizens, maximizing resource utilization efficiency, and optimizing cities.

Urban development relies on various factors of production in different historical periods. Tang Fangcheng, dean of the College of Economics and Management at Beijing University of Chemical Technology, said that applying 5G networks, cloud computing, blockchain, artificial intelligence and other new information technologies has created digital resources, a special factor of production, which is an important driving force of urban transformation and development in the digital era. To be more specific, a complete urban innovation ecosystem should contain innovative talent, innovative subjects, innovative resources, innovative environments and innovative networks.

The city brain and the community cerebellum are important parts in the construction of a smart city. Wang Wei, deputy director of the Smarter City Development and Research Center at the State Information Center, proposed that the city brain concerns the operation of the entire city, but has difficulty covering the minor details of urban life. The community cerebellum can be a good supplement to this deficiency.

The city brain is the digital interface of urban life. Regarding the internet as the infrastructure based on the data resources generated by the city, the city brain can conduct real-time analysis and command, mobilize and manage the city. The city brain was developed by Alibaba Cloud and applied in Hangzhou first. In Hangzhou, there are more than 80 million units of data collected per day covering police, transportation, health and other aspects. Yu Jianxing, dean of the School of Public Affairs at Zhejiang University, takes Hangzhou’s initial prevention and control of the epidemic as an example. Hangzhou’s city brain has developed cockpits for epidemic prevention and control connected to data from various public sectors, such as the prevention and control headquarters, the National Health Commission, public security bureaus and power grids, which have sent out warning information accurately.

The community cerebellum focuses on the community. Through the internet of things, the internet of humans and the data internet, the community cerebellum can solve issues related to security administration, environmental sanitation, convenient services and health care for the community. At the same time, it can connect with the information platforms of civic service centers, company service centers and government departments to comprehensively guide an effective community operation.

The essence of a smart city is to achieve efficient conversion between physical cities and virtual cities. As such, it is necessary to create a complete information transmission channel, increase urban data collection in an all-around way, broaden urban data transmission systems, master information collection and improve urban data access systems.

Yu pointed out that the digital reform of the government is the key to improving the capacities and levels of urban governance. As such, a collaborative system among departments and entities based on data sharing should be established and improved.

In terms of specific practical guidance, Tang suggested that we should clarify the direction of smart city development, the rights and responsibilities of each participant and the different layout. It is necessary to break down barriers, building data bridges between departments, industries and enterprises to achieve efficient services and collaborative governance. By virtue of data openness, the enthusiasm of all participants in the market and society to take part in the construction of smart city ecosystems will be stimulated.

Editor: Yu Hui

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