The difficulties involved in developing smart cities and possible solutions were on the agenda of a conference on “General Solutions for Smart City” (Smart City 360 Degrees) held in HCM City on September 19.
Speaking at the opening, Prof Dr Nguyen Ky Phung, deputy director of the city’s Department of Science and Technology, said in general a smart city is a city that uses information and communication technology to enhance quality, performance and interactivity of urban services, reduce cost and resource consumption, improve contact between citizens and the government and ensure sustainable development.
In the technology-driven trend of connectivity and interaction, many technologies of Industry 4.0 have become the core technologies for a smart city, Phung, who is also director of the Institute for Computational Science and Technology, said.
The need to use automated and human- interactive devices in management (such as security, energy, transportation, and others) and social security (such as healthcare and education) is also growing rapidly, he said.
HCM City has drafted a master plan for turning into a smart city in 2017-20 period and is seeking contributions and feedback from experts and scientists, he said.
Le Quoc Cuong, deputy director of the city’s Department of Information and Communications, said building a smart city and the city’s seven breakthrough programmes aim to meet four basic goals: ensure economic growth; improve the quality of living and working; efficient urban management based on forecasts; and enhance public participation in urban management.
A lack of a common database for departments and agencies to share information is among the hurdles to make HCM City a smart city, he said.
Therefore, the city would focus on e-governance and connecting and sharing information and data among departments to improve management efficiency in various sectors, he said.
The database would contain information about socio-economic development policies that can be accessed by businesses, citizens and investors.
The city also plans to enhance interaction between the government, the public and public service providers, create a level playing field for all companies and improve competitiveness and attract more investment, he said.
Phung said, there is a difference between smart and modern cities, he said, pointing out that developed countries like the US, France and the UK have good infrastructure and so are modern cities.
A smart city requires the use of ICT to serve the Government, public and businesses, he explained.
Dr Nguyen Trong of the HCM City Computer Association said five things are needed to build a smart city: defining the basic information the public needs to be provided, creating technologies and the requisite social environment, building common databases, creating a mechanism for getting and analysing information and enabling easy access to technical infrastructure and information services for everyone.
Dr Doan Xuan Huy Minh of the Institute for Computational Science and Technology (ICST) said a smart city is a relatively new field in Vietnam, and so many issues need to be studied and resolved.
Delegates called for creating close linkages between the Government, businesses and science and technology professionals for creating the smart city.
At the event, Da Nang shared its experience in implementing e-governance and taking the initial steps for turning into a smart city.
Held by the ICST in collaboration with the HCM City Computer Association and PC World Vietnam magazine, the conference brought together Government agencies in HCM City and other cities and provinces, institutes and universities, businesses and others.-VNA