HCM City seeks help from US in building smart cities

January 26, 2018 - 22:00

HCM City hopes to have continued support from the US for smart-city projects and plans to call for more investment at a conference in April, Nguyễn Thành Phong, chair of the People’s Committee, said.

Speakers at the second US-HCM City Smart Cities Dialogue held on Thursday in HCM City. — Photo courtesy of the US Consulate
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — HCM City hopes to have continued support from the US for smart-city projects and plans to call for more investment at a conference in April, Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the city People’s Committee, said.

Speaking at the second US-HCM City Smart Cities Dialogue organised on Thursday, Phong said the city this year plans to build an operation centre, a network security centre, and a simulation and forecast centre.

The city will first pilot a project to build smart cities in districts 1, 12 and the Thủ Thiêm New Urban Area.

“To build smart cities, it is vital to establish a state-of-the-art emergency information centre through which only one hotline number is used to help process information from residents and tourists in a timely manner,” he said.

“The city now has more than one number, such as 113, 114 and 115, for residents to call in case of emergencies. We plan to open one unique hotline number (like 112 in Europe and 911 in the US),” Phong noted.

“The centre must be able to receive images from the camera and sensor systems to help the city monitor security situations,” Phong said.

US Consul General Mary Tarnowka said the meeting helped the US government and industry representatives better understand the city’s priorities and the most suitable technologies and solutions.  

The event, organised by the city’s People’s Committee, discussed the city’s recently released smart-city master plan. 

Seventeen smart city-related companies and two business associations from the US spoke about innovative smart-city solutions that could help HCM City address its growing urban challenges. 

During the meeting, a grant agreement worth US$880,000 was signed between the US Trade and Development Agency and HCM City’s Department of Information and Communications. 

The grant will fund technical assistance for an Emergency Response Centre that will improve citizens’ access to emergency responders and enhance communication among city departments during fire, security, and heath emergencies. 

Tarnowka said the project was an example of the success that the US and HCM City can achieve together, and one that will have a significant impact on the safety and security of the city’s residents. 

The meeting was the latest initiative undertaken by the US Mission to Việt Nam to promote US smart-city technologies and support urban development. 

In the past 12 months, the US Embassy in Hà Nội and the US Consulate General in HCM City organised several workshops and seminars for Vietnamese government officials and project owners to introduce US smart-city concepts and technologies in healthcare, energy, cybersecurity, and transportation. 

Last November, the US Department of State sent a delegation of five officials from HCM City to six American cities on an International Visitor Leadership Programme to meet with smart-city experts from federal, state and municipal governments and industry. 

The US Department of Commerce also led a delegation of 14 US firms to Nha Trang, Đà Nẵng and Huế in December to meet city leaders and explore partnership opportunities. — VNS