In a bid to support the development of ‘smart cities’ in China, as part of China’s 13th Five Year Plan, Arup, HSBC and the China Center for Urban Development have joined forces to launch the ‘UK-China Smart Cities Development and Investment Hub’. The hub focuses on providing industry and government collaboration on key issues facing cities in China.
“Smart cities” leverage a range of technologies and best practices among a range of sustainability and connectivity solutions. For instance, in green-blue built, to deal with excess water; green facades, to reduce air and sound pollution; city vegetable gardens, to improve local access to key goods; and improved public transportation options, to reduce congestion. India is currently investing heavily in their development, with considerable support from its government and from consultancy firms. A study from Arup shows that the ‘smart city’ industry will hit $408 billion by 2020, which representing a key driver in its development, with around $73 billion in investments earmarked in China’s 13th FYP period (2016-2020).
To develop the “smart cities” of China’s future, Arup, HSBC and the China Center for Urban Development have come together to launch a new programme called the ‘UK-China Smart Cities Development and Investment Hub’. The new ‘hub’, which acts as a platform, is designed to facilitate the development of ‘holistic and scalable solutions’ for challenges faced by fast-growing cities across China, by bringing together the private sector with partners in government.
The new smart cities that are being developed through the hub, aim to offer a range of solutions faced by China in terms of environmental and social challenges for its cities, from climate resilience development to dealing with the effects of industrialisation. Through the hub, industry sector players and the public sector can work together to provide consultation, products and services on planning, financing and project management to support the development of smart cities in China.
Volker Buscher, Global Digital Business Leader at Arup, says, "The special relationship between the UK and China provides a unique opportunity to address, in a very proactive and collaborative way, some of the challenges around smart cities. The establishment of a ‘hub’ to address issues around project scope and financing will help cities enormously in their efforts to address issues around traffic management, air quality, climate change, citizen engagement and economic development.”
Douglas Flint, Group Chairman at HSBC, says, “Tireless collaboration between national and municipal governments, and between the public and private sectors, is needed to address the challenges arising from rapidly growing cities and society’s requirements for low-carbon infrastructure. That is one reason why HSBC is supporting the UK-China Smart City Development and Investment Hub, in conjunction with Arup and the China Centre for Urban Development. This new initiative will enable municipal authorities and businesses in both the UK and China to work more closely together to develop smart cities which meet our economic, environmental and social objectives.”