Hà Nội steps up smart city development

September 19, 2018 - 08:00

The Vietnamese capital is speeding up efforts to become a smart city that offers convenience, safety and comfort to every citizen, applying key technologies of the fourth industrial revolution, said the municipal People’s Committee Chairman Nguyễn Đức Chung.

The municipal People’s Committee Chairman Nguyễn Đức Chung delivered a speech at the summit. — VNS Photo Vũ Hoa
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese capital is speeding up efforts to become a smart city that offers convenience, safety and comfort to every citizen, applying key technologies of the fourth industrial revolution, said the municipal People’s Committee Chairman Nguyễn Đức Chung.

Addressing the ASOCIO Smart City Summit 2018, themed "Creating a smarter and more secure city with digital solutions," kicked off in Hà Nội on Tuesday, Chung said the capital is considered a global mega-city in terms of area and population density.

“Rapid urbanisation and rising population have resulted in various problems relating to planning, traffic, security, health care, education, energy, housing development and pollution,” he said. Given this, building a sustainable and smart city that ensures convenience, safety and hospitality for local residents is urgent for the city. “To date, the city has issued various plans with priority given to building a smart monitoring centre, a smart transport system and a smart tourism system,” he added.

“Hà Nội is working towards its goal to become a smart metropolis which utilises the benefits of Industry 4.0 with cutting-edge technologies such as 3D printing, virtual reality, cloud computing, robotics, big data, blockchain and artificial intelligence that require co-operation of leaders, managers and technology experts in building a smart city. It would help improve living standards for people while promoting socio-economic development,” he said.

Việt Nam is said to be a nation with the fastest urbanisation rate in the region and the world. According to a report by the Ministry of Construction, as of late 2017, Việt Nam had 813 urban areas, with the urbanisation rate of 37.5 per cent.

In August, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc approved a project to develop sustainable and smart cities. Việt Nam hopes to boost green growth and sustainable development, bringing into full play its potential and advantages, and increase the efficient use of resources. The country also wants to improve locals’ living standards, increase the economy’s competitiveness and step up international integration.

Until 2020, the project will work to build a legal basis for sustainable and smart city development, issue policies and mechanisms applied to the regions subject to pilot implementation, build and pilot the application of the ICT framework on smart city development, develop the GIS-based urban space data infrastructure, and build a national city database.

By 2025, the first phase of the pilot implementation of smart city development will be carried out, focusing on building and finalising legal corridors and regulations, applying the ICT framework to smart city development in Viet Nam, announcing national standards prioritised for building smart cities and developing the urban space data infrastructure. The first phase is expected to be completed by 2030. Hà Nội, HCM City and Cần Thơ will be chosen to be the core of smart city networks in the northern, central, southern and Mekong Delta regions, respectively.

People visit a booth by VNPay showcasing QR code payments at the ASOCIO Smart City Summit 2018. — VNS Photo Vũ Hoa

ASOCIO’s President David Wong cited a UN report predicting that the world would see two thirds of its population living in urban areas by 2050. Of which, Asia and Africa would witness the fastest growth. It is expected that the rate of people living in urban areas will increase from the current 53 per cent to 64 per cent thanks to urbanisation.

Such a high rate of urbanisation will lead to issues such as aging, overloaded infrastructure, environmental pollution, air pollution and noise pollution that affect people’s lives and business performance. Wong said Hà Nội’s plan to build smart cities should be carried out in three phases (by 2030), focusing on three core issues including health, transport and tourism.

Jay Jenkins, head of Southeast Asia’s Google Cloud Technology said Hà Nội is ready to become a smart city with data collected and stored by Google over the past 10 years. Every day, Google Maps tracks roads and traffic for millions of dwellers in the city. This information is processed at Google’s data centres and is useful to hundreds of thousands of smartphone users.

Thus, there are a lot of smart city infrastructure elements available and Hà Nội can take advantage of those, said Jay Jenkins. A smart city can take advantage of new technologies and digitisation to simplify the process, bringing the highest quality for people and the best environment for businesses, Jenkins added.

Brian David Hull, general director of ABB Vietnam told Việt Nam News that there are many opportunities for Hà Nội to become a smart city as they have clear plans.

“I think the good thing is companies like ABB are already investing in these areas. However, there are always challenges. I think the key is to develop the infrastructure in electricity, transport and water,” he said, adding that the Government should work on data centres.

The two-day event, jointly held by the municipal People’s Committee, the Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organisation (ASOCIO) and the Việt Nam Software and IT Services (VINASA), brings together over 600 local delegates who are leaders of central-level offices, Hà Nội, and other localities keen on building smart cities, associations, organisations and IT-related enterprises, together with nearly 70 foreign delegates from 20 nations and economies around the world.

They are expected to take part in six seminars on digital government and strategies to build smart cities, and use fewer cash transactions; along with sections on infrastructure, platform – principles for smart city, data driven city – data analysis & urban planning and smart industries. — VNS