Smart Cities: Bringing the voice of the people and innovation to urban governance

May 26, 2016

The launch of the 'Guiyang Smart Cities and Social Governance Index Research Collbaoration' at the Big Data Expo

As urbanisation rapidly spreads in China, a new development concept has been bringing about profound changes to the way we govern urban society, smart cities. Driven by big data and cloud computing, smart cities have given birth to pioneering governance and new techniques and ideas for addressing urban problems.

Helping lead this change in China, the 'Guiyang Smart Cities and Social Governance Index Research Collaboration' was launched at the Big Data Expo on 26th May, by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Guiyang Municipal Government and Guizhou Wing Cloud High Technology Co. Ltd. The new collaboration was announced by Patrick Haverman, the Deputy Country Director of UNDP and Degui Mu, the Vice Governor of Guizhou Province.

‘The Guiyang Smart Cities and Social Governance Index’ Research Collaboration aims at proposing a strategic direction for developing inclusive and sustainable smart cities, which incorporates the voice of the community. It highlights and values public participation in public decision making.

UNDP believes that the concept of smart cities can go beyond the information and technology revolution. A smart city can contribute to achieving the goal of social and environmental sustainability and creating inclusive and liveable cities, by collecting and sharing information with high-tech support. The ultimate goal of smart city development should be to support a city’s social governance, improve the quality of the city and to become more people-oriented.      

To ensure smart city development serves a city’s social governance goals, UNDP considers it necessary to conduct a fundamental assessment of smart city social governance. It’s also important to systematically measure the status of smart city development to allow leaders to be able to make better, more informed decisions aligned with city development goals, as well as to provide improved standards and guidelines for smart city building.

In new information technologies fields, the Guiyang Municipal Government has been a pioneer in applied cloud computing as well as the use of big data in economic development, resource allocation, city social governance and other fields, and has accumulated a great deal of practical experience in smart city development.

Building on UNDP’s international and local experience in governance assessment, this project will develop a multidimensional index system for smart city social governance in partnership with the Guiyang Municipal Government, Guizhou Yiyun Wing Cloud High Technology Co. Ltd., Intel and other partners.

Over the next couple of months UNDP will collaborate with local partners to organize a series of participatory workshops in two pilot communities – Bihai Community and Huizhancheng Community. Residents living in these two communities will be able to participate in developing the principles of social governance in the smart cities era. Based on these principles, officials from the Guiyang Municipal Government, technicians from IT companies, and academic institutions will join in discussions with community representatives to decide specific indicators. Upon the completion of the project, a report ‘Smart Cities and Social Governance Index’ will be published.



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