Hong Kong to build a ‘smart city’

By on January 13, 2016


Hong Kong boat (Internet photo)
Hong Kong boat (Internet photo)

HONG KONG – Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, when delivering his fourth policy address Wednesday, said the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government is weighing the development of a “smart city.”

He said the Innovation and Technology Bureau (ITB) will study the development of a “smart city”, which includes providing free Wi-Fi services at bus stops and shopping arcades, opening up more public data to facilitate development of user-friendly mobile applications (apps) for the public, and developing intelligent homes, in collaboration with research institutions and public and private organizations.

The ITB will formulate a digital framework and standards for the development of a “smart city”.

“The Internet is of increasing importance to us,” Leung said, adding that according to the World Competitiveness Yearbook, Hong Kong has ranked first globally in technology infrastructure for five consecutive years. At present, there are over 17,000 Wi-Fi hotspots offering free Wi-Fi services.

He said the SAR government will progressively expand the coverage of free Wi-Fi services by doubling the number of hotspots to 34,000 within three years to provide such services at all public rental housing (PRH) estates, public hospitals, markets, parks, sitting-out areas, promenades, tourist spots, public transport interchanges and land boundary control points.

Hong Kong will then have one of the highest Wi-Fi densities in the world.

Leung added the existing speed of Wi-Fi connection at government venues will be progressively doubled and security enhanced.

“We will offer free Wi-Fi services at all youth service centers and study rooms run by the government and non-profit-making organizations, and work with schools to improve the quality of their Wi-Fi services in order to support e-learning.”

In response to the global trend of big data analytics, the ITB will formulate policies on big data application, he said.

Last year, the government launched the Public Sector Information portal (data.gov.hk) to provide more than 5,000 datasets.

The government will continue to encourage public service bodies and commercial organizations to open up more data.