Features and Analysis

Smart Yinchuan: Progress so far and where next?

Zhou Yunfeng, Deputy Secretary, Communist Party of China, Yinchuan, opened the Smart City Live! track at TM Forum Live! recently by announcing that Smart City InFocus will be held once again in Yinchuan (September 19-21). You’re invited to this pioneering three-day interactive conference. Registration will be open soon so watch this space.

We also caught up with Yunfeng to find out more about Yinchuan’s smart city progress and what delegates at the event can expect to see and experience in this pioneering city.

Q: What positive impacts is your smart city initiative having for the city and its citizens? Can you give us any specific examples?

A:
Our smart city strategy is part of Yinchuan’s transformation journey. After several years of development, it has achieved remarkable results.

For the city, the smart city initiative has enhanced the ability and level of urban management, and improved the development of emerging economies. For example, the smart city command center enables better emergency response through the intelligent monitoring of the environment, water pollution, public transportation, road traffic, building sites, and public places, etc. It can issue targeted instructions based on real-time data changes.

When it comes to handling public emergencies, for example, passive fire-fighting services have been transformed, and they are now proactive and intelligent. This can be applied in more areas in the near future, playing a significant role in urban management.

In addition, the development of the smart city promotes the growth of three key areas:

  • The equipment manufacturing industry (e.g. equipment for filtered tap water, intelligent dustbins etc.)
  • ‘Internet-plus’ industries (e.g. e-sports industry, digital health and smart logistics);
  • The upgrading of traditional industries (e.g. garments, 3D printing, flexible manufacturing, etc.

For citizens, the influence is real and visible. For example, using smart buses, people can easily find out when the next bus will arrive and the number of passengers on board. In government affairs, the chances are that citizens can apply for administrative approval using their smartphone. And in smart communities, people can meet their various needs of food, accommodation, shopping and entertainment. Our smart medical system offers a way to manage health — it monitors 21 indicators of your body and uploads the data to the hospital.

Q: How did you set up the funding for the initiative?

A: Funding is one of the problems that we need to tackle in smart city development. The major way to solve this problem is to apply innovative business models which are market-oriented.

First and foremost, we established a joint venture between the government and ZTE to work out investments and operations. The joint venture will absorb the costs [capital expenditure and loans]to promote the projects.

Second, we integrated the distributed funds of departments of the government which were used for information construction, to invest in the smart city initiative.

These methods provide the smart city development initiative with sustainable capital, rather than a one-time investment.

Q: What’s new with the progress of Smart Yinchuan?

A: We have been through the stage of research and exploration for the construction of the smart city. Now we are in the stage of application and problem-solving. The development model is now repeatable.

There are a number of developments since the Smart City InFocus event last year:

  • We have some implementations, such as smart traffic lights and a governmental ‘hotline’ (integrating 55 departmental lines into one). Based on the principles of difficulty and urgency, we are working to incorporate more aspects of life into the smart city initiative.
  • More smart communities have been built. There were 20 experimental communities last year and will be 500 this year. We will strive to upgrade all communities in Yinchuan into smart ones
  • Our smart filtered tap water program is part of all smart communities from conception. However, the program has also been used across tourist attractions, schools, hospitals, governmental agencies and public areas.
  • The businesses in the Smart City Industrial Park will all begin production in September this year and the e-sports building will be put into use, which marks the industrialization of the smart city.


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Sarah is a freelance writer and editor with an interest in new technologies and how they impact our everyday lives.

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