tirsdag 21. desember 2021

China Is Making Its Cities ‘Smarter.’ Can it Make Them Wiser?

The concept of a “smart” city — in which digital technologies like data are collected and used to improve urban planning and resident well-being — can be traced back to at least the 1970s, with the publication of the first urban big data project: “A Cluster Analysis of Los Angeles.”

The idea was refined over the ensuing decades, as cities like Amsterdam experimented with “digital cities” and companies including IBM and Cisco invested in urban analytics. But it wasn’t until the Smart City Expo and World Congress in 2011 that smart cities really took off around the world.

When China launched its first Smart City Pilot Project the following year, the program’s goals were expansive: to encourage the use of data to resolve problems of city management related to population, transportation, healthcare, education, crime, and the environment. Within five years, more than 500 Chinese cities had drawn uptheir own smart city plans, and the scope and scale of China’s smart city ambitions now dwarf those of other countries.