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China promotes new-type smart cities by improving digital public services

wuzhenwic.org Updated: 2021-11-18

More people are able to benefit from smart city systems in the areas of municipal infrastructure, disaster prevention, traffic, medical care and community service.

According to a guideline underpinning green development in urban and rural areas issued by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, China will promote smart city construction to provide convenient services for the public.

Experts said many Chinese cities have started transitioning from the preparation period to the starting and growth period and upgrades of digital public services are under way.

Unified online system brings greater ease

In recent years, many cities have explored a new method of governance based on a unified online management system and digital technology.

For example, in the Zhenbeiwu community in Putuo district, Shanghai, emergency call buttons, smoke detectors, and infrared induction systems have been installed at the entrance of the community, which can monitor the entry and exit of residents, particularly elderly people. When the system does not detect someone’s activity within 48 hours, systems that are connected to a unified online management platform will send messages to the neighborhood committee, which will send staff members to check up on the resident in question.


A resident of the Guiyuan community in Nanhu district, Jiaxing, East China's Zhejiang province, has a health exam in a 5G cloud clinic on Oct 26, 2021. Residents can get follow-up diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases, as well as health exams, online registration and self-help drug purchases in the clinic. [Photo/IC]

The unified online management platform also plays a role in thousands of scenarios like natural disaster warning, pandemic prevention and control, water level monitoring, elevator supervision and even waste sorting.

The National Engineering Laboratory of Big Data Analysis and Applied Technology at Peking University and several companies and institutes jointly released the 2021 Digital Ecology Index, which showed that the top 10 cities with leading indices in digital ecology, basis, capacity and application are Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Chongqing, Nanjing and Tianjin. These cities have formed a relatively complete digital urban ecology.

Zhang Pingwen, director of the laboratory, said central cities are taking the lead in digital urban ecology development in China and surrounding cities are following in their footsteps.

Cutting-edge technologies support urban management

Cutting-edge technologies are playing a crucial role in urban management.


The smart supervision center of the underground pipeline network of Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan province, Sept 14, 2021 [Photo/IC]

A smart supervision and collection system integrating patrols, information collection and public participation has been installed in Shapingba district in Chongqing.

More than 5,000 cameras, one patrol vehicle and various kinds of internet-connected sensing devices are linked to the platform, realizing 24/7 automatic monitoring of 54 kinds of urban management issues, such as public service facility errors.

With the development of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data and national support of new infrastructure construction, many regions in China are stepping up efforts to improve urban management with the help of technology.

For instance, Beijing has built a smart urban management structure integrating perception, analysis, service, command and supervision based on an IoT platform. Shenzhen has used information technology to launch a unified system linking 42 business systems of judicial, public security, traffic, security supervision, fire control and environmental protection departments, more than 100 types of data and over 280,000 cameras.


This photo shows smart garbage-sorting machines that use AI technology at a residential estate in Jing'an district in Shanghai. The machines are able to sort and classify recyclable material. Users can get cash for their deposits through a downloadable app. [Photo/IC]

Experts suggested that smart city construction should focus on improving urban management capacity by making full use of the digital economy based on digital technologies.

Improving people's sense of gain should be a highlight, which can be realized through upgrading public services based on digital technologies.

Cyberspace Administration of China
People's Government of Zhejiang Province
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
International Telecommunication Union
World Intellectual Property Organization
Secretariat of World Internet Conference (Preparatory Office)
Cyberspace Administration of Zhejiang Province
Economy and Information Technology Department of Zhejiang Province
Tongxiang Municipal People's Government
National Internet Emergency Center
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