Why smart cities? From all perspectives, it ticks all the boxes: innovation, technology and new economy. On a day-to-day basis, it makes our urban environments more liveable, it saves energy, keeps traffic flowing and keeps us safe.
In 2020, China was estimated to have some 800 smart cities under construction or in planning – that’s about half of the world’s total. And that number is continually rising. And key to powering these smart cities is technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence and big data.
Guiyang, the capital city of Guizhou province, has been a hotbed for experimenting with digital transformation in the country’s push towards building smart cities, thus a smart society. Smart cities are an integral part of China’s continued push for urbanization to drive the country’s economic development now and in the years to come. More than 5,000 big data companies take residence in Guiyang including Alibaba, Baidu, Apple and Google, to name a few. That’s because, for years, Guizhou has been home to the country’s first national big data experimental zone. And now it has opened the floodgates for a shift from a smart-city concept to a smart-city reality.
China Matters’ Josh Arslan goes to Guiyang to see what ordinary folks can get out of living in a smart city? What benefits it brings? He also meets up with people behind the innovations that power a smart city from facial recognition to a car parking app vital in congested cities to autonomous vehicles, redefining the way we live, work and play.
Contact: Li Siwei