China is set to create their first smart city, but it won’t be Shanghai or Beijing — instead, the city of Yinchuan will become the country’s most high-tech city.
Situated in the north of China, Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia Hui province, is home to 1.5 million people.
It appears to be one of the most Arab-friendly places in the country, hosting the annual China-Arab States Expo.
Now, Yinchuan is bound to be the “blueprint ‘smart city’ for scores of urban metropolises across China,” CNN reports. According to the outlet, the city has hosted TM Forum’s Smart City InFocus conference for two years.
Yinchuan is one of China’s 193 smart city pilot projects, all aiming for industrialization, informatization and urbanization. The city deploys facial recognition systems in transport buses, holograms at the City Hall, solar-powered waste bins and other features that prove now is the future.
Why Yinchuan turned out to be the more favorable “smart city” leader than Beijing and Shanghai — two obvious contenders — had something to do with size. Carl Piva, TM Forum’s vice president of strategic programs, explained:
“The problem is these cities are already too big. A blank canvas like Yinchuan can more flexibly adopt new technologies, and then ‘attract people that would otherwise have gone to Beijing or Shanghai.'”
Piva said China aims to create a “repeatable pattern” by which it can build and “roll out” a smart city. He pointed that the West does not have this “sense” of rolling out.
The term “smart city” has been around for some time, but definitions are countless. Still, most accept it as an urban community that harnesses technology as a way of life, developed and improved for the benefit of citizens.