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As China urbanizes, cities get smart

(People's Daily Overseas Edition)

15:16, September 14, 2011

Edited and Translated by Han Shasha, People's Daily Online

"Can this television play the role of a doctor?" An old man surnamed Li asked with surprise and disbelief at the China Expo on Smart City Technology and Applications in Ningbo this year.

Sitting in front of an intelligent health system, Li seized the handles. After 10 seconds, his electrocardiogram, blood pressure and other health indicators came up on the screen. This technology will enable the patient get treatment without physically going to the hospital.

Therefore, it is merely a tip of the iceberg in the building of smart cities in China. Currently, more than one hundred cities in China plan to build smart cities, of which 28 cities will make the development of the Internet-of-Things the top priority. Building smart cities has been a new effort to develop and administer cities in China.

"A smart city, to put it simply, means a more intelligent city," said Chen Jianglan, director of the E-Research Center in the Institute of Information under Shanghai Academy of Social Science.

The smart city is an effective combination of information technology and advanced concepts of city operation in which the government will use digital network management to provide more convenient and efficient public administration services.

"The smart city is a product of industrialization, urbanization and informationization at this certain historical moment. It is also a requirement of economic restructuring," said Yang Xueshan, vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Last year, Beijing and Shanghai took the lead as national model cities for cloud computing service innovation development. China has launched 252 pilot areas for the Internet-of-Things on top of the pilot innovation area for the state sensor network in Wuxi, Jiangsu province.

At the China Smart City Forum on Aug. 28, experts proposed for the first time to use the happiness, social management and social responsibility indexes to evaluate and examine city development, which has been the first system for building smart cities.

Building smart cities is a global trend. There are now more than 200 smart city projects under construction around the world.

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