With the breakthrough in technological advancement in the last decade, the concept of "smart cities" has also gained significant attention among governments and businesses worldwide. Though often found varying slightly in terms of definition between regions, the idea focuses on enhancing the efficiency and quality of our everyday life in areas such as mobility, communication, shopping, and home, mainly with the use of technology such as connectivity of devices, exchanging of information, cloud computing.
China has taken the lead in the race to smarten up cities through digital and infrastructural advancements. As of 2020, more than 900 pilot smart city projects had been set up within various provinces of the economic giant. Cities such as Beijing and Shanghai are leading examples of smart city ventures and are pushing the pace of smart city construction throughout the rest of the country.
To achieve the motives behind the smart city concept, governments and companies apply modern technology to various aspects of urban life. These include using software to make government services more accessible or using artificial intelligence to optimize traffic flow. Often it requires a synergy of multiple segments. For instance, to maximize the benefits of the smart grid it requires modern grid infrastructure on the supply side and IoT devices on the consumer side. In practice, it means that through the use of smart meters smart home appliance can time their run time to smooth out energy consumption during peak hours.
Areas of application
With more and more households phasing into a lifestyle eased by technology, China’s Smart Home market has been booming. Smart Homes are home setups that allow the lighting, heating, and other home appliances to be controlled remotely using a smartphone or a networked device. The market size estimate of Smart Homes was expected to surpass 217 billion yuan in 2022. China’s target for the year 2023 is to set up roughly about 100 million Smart Homes complete with various Smart appliances such as smart TVs - which have been in popular demand - smart washing machines, smart refrigerators, and smart air conditioners.
The past few years have also seen an upward trend in the adoption of a smart transportation system in China to which shared mobility has been integral. The global tech company, Didi Chuxing, has monopolized the mobility segment especially in terms of the ride-hailing business. The ride-hailing market recorded around 360 million monthly users in 2020. However, the need to improve walkability and pedestrian safety has also been emphasized to enhance efficient mobility. Planning strategies also focus on increasing the rail and underground transport links alongside higher investment in electric vehicles and their infrastructure.
The benefits of smart city technologies are plenty, with access to cleaner air and water, reduced wastage of resources and pollution, a healthier population, and a growing economy are a few items on the list that China’s population hopes for. Citizens’ awareness of smart city technology solutions reflects a positive trend with more people availing online and digital services to pay bills, manage taxes and use other public utilities.
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In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 25 most important statistics relating to "Smart city in China".