A smart city is an urban development using Information and Communication Technology and the Internet of Things to provide useful information to effectively manage resources and assets. This includes data collected from citizens and mechanical devices, that are processed and analyzed to monitor and manage traffic and transport systems, power plants, water supply networks, waste disposal, etc.
Also called eco-city or sustainable city, the smart city aims to improve the quality of urban services or reduce its costs. It stands out for its specificities: smart management, lifestyle, mobility, housing, as well as a smart economy. Their main goal is to reconcile technological innovation with the economic, social, and ecological challenges of the city of tomorrow. Their leitmotiv is the quality of life: how to live better together while respecting our environment.
Is Hong Kong a smart city?
Transforming into a smart city has become a global trend in city planning and development, featuring the use of information and communications technologies for more efficient management of a city’s services and resources. A smart city encompasses a range of different aspects including smart living, smart mobility, smart government, and smart environment. Hong Kong is well-positioned to pursue smart city development because of its advanced ICT infrastructure developed over the years. Currently, it offers one of the world’s most affordable Internet connection and mobile phone services with penetration rates being among the highest in the world. The commercial launch of 5G technology in April 2020 has provided Hong Kong with the capacity to enable additional smart city capabilities and applications that require high bandwidth and low latency.
The recent outbreak of COVID-19 and the resulting use of technology in combating the virus have further fuelled the development of Hong Kong as a smart city. COVID-19 has accelerated the use of digital payment technology which forms a critical part of a smart city backbone. Under the pandemic, local consumers are now spending more with contactless and cashless payment options than ever before, as physical handling of coins and notes is often viewed as a viral risk.
According to the Asia Cloud Computing Association’s Cloud Readiness Index 2020, Hong Kong was ranked first among cities in Asia. The outbreak of COVID-19 has boosted the usage of the internet, mobile devices, and other virtual activities. Alongside these changes, information security, as well as protection of personal data, are rising concerns to the local market.
- Digital transformation solutions
- Cloud Computing
- Data Analytic solutions
- Internet of Things (IoT)
However, Hong Kong did not score high in the surveys on smart city development. Internationally, Hong Kong ranked 87th in a survey conducted by a Swedish smart parking company in 2019 that assessed the top 100 smart cities around the world along 24 factors related to smart city technology. Added to this, Hong Kong only came in 32nd place in the 2020 Smart City Index, compiled by the International Institute for Management Development which ranked 109 cities on their integration of smart technologies. Domestically, only one-third of residents and some 40% of local companies surveyed considered Hong Kong a smart city, according to a survey report released by Google Hong Kong in 2019.
Hong Kong is officially known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong has one of the world’s most thriving economies and is a hub for international trade and investment. A cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong weaves Western and Asian influence into a world-class center of business, culture, and trade.
Further enhancement of Hong Kong’s technology infrastructure is a critical factor to the city’s development as a smart city by 2030, according to this year’s Future Hong Kong 2030 survey report published by KPMG China in cooperation with CLP, Cyberport, HKBN JOS, Smart City Consortium, Siemens, Weave Co-Living and Wilson Group.
As the third annual report from KPMG China focusing on Hong Kong’s smart city development, Future Hong Kong 2030 analyses the internal and external factors shaping Hong Kong’s smart city transformation over the next 10 years and looks at how effective governance, smart infrastructure, and innovation can be used to address the city’s biggest urban challenges.