Mon. Jan 25th, 2021

The Government today released the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong 2.0 with more than 130 smart city initiatives.

Secretary for Innovation & Technology Alfred Sit said innovation and technology (I&T) not only promotes economic development but is also imperative in enhancing people’s livelihood.

He said implementation of a smart city aims to bring benefits and convenience to the public by making use of the research and development results to drive Hong Kong forward.

As pointed out in the 2020 Policy Address, smart city development aims to allow people to better perceive the benefits of a smart city and I&T in their daily lives, Mr Sit added.

The Government published in December 2017 the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong, setting out 76 initiatives under six smart areas, namely Smart Mobility, Smart Living, Smart Environment, Smart People, Smart Government and Smart Economy, to address the challenges of city management and improving people’s livelihood through I&T.

Among them, more than 40 initiatives are completed or under completion in stages.

Mr Sit said in the past three years, various bureaus and departments and related organisations have been committed to taking forward these initiatives, including the launch of the Faster Payment System in 2018, the expansion of free public Wi-Fi hotspot coverage across the city and the adoption of various smart solutions at the airport.

The blueprint 2.0 includes initiatives that are under implementation or of an ongoing nature such as open data and on-street parking meters supporting remote payment.

There are also over 60 new initiatives, such as developing a Traffic Data Analytics System to enhance traffic management and efficiency, and setting up the Smart Traffic Fund to promote research and application of vehicle-related I&T under the Smart Mobility area.

For smart living, the Government will use the iAM Smart platform to streamline the Transport Department’s licensing services and explore the use of telehealth, video-conferencing and remote consultation in the city.

The Government will launch the “smart toilet” pilot programme and explore the application of technologies in public toilets, and improve pest control using technologies such as Internet of Things technology to develop a smart environment.

The IT Innovation Lab in Secondary Schools Programme will be implemented and the STEM Internship Scheme will continue.

Regaring the Smart Government area, the Government will develop the Electronic Submission Hub for processing building plans, implement the Be the Smart Regulator Programme to facilitate online application for all licences, and reform government services involving applications and approvals under the Streamlining of Government Services Programme.

It will also develop an online platform to provide efficient and cost-effective online dispute resolution and deal-making services, while the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority will develop the eMPF Platform to help develop a smart economy.

Mr Sit said the Government’s epidemic control and prevention work over the past 11 months has brought about many insights in taking forward I&T development, including transforming the conventional service modes with an innovative mindset and addressing the new normal with wider use of technologies.

He said the Government will strive to incorporate the need for reducing contact among people under the anti-epidemic new normal into its recurrent work, adding the blueprint 2.0 provides a new chapter on Use of I&T in combating COVID-19.
It covers work implemented or being planned, including the deployments of the StayHomeSafe home quarantine system and the LeaveHomeSafe exposure notification and mobile app, the promotion of the use of contactless payments in public markets, and the establishment of the COVID-19 Online Dispute Resolution Scheme to provide businesses and the public with speedy and cost-effective online dispute resolution services.

The blueprint 2.0 has also put forward the idea of smart village pilot initiatives to explore the use of technologies to address daily life issues faced by residents living in the countryside and further remote areas, such as medical consultation for the elderly and traffic arrangements.

By Bureau