COLDSKY.CN – Professor Yang Junyan, Vice Dean of the Smart City Institute of Southeast University and also winner of Tencent’s Xplorer Prize in 2019, has shared his ideas on the development of smart city.
He divided the development of smart city initiative into three periods in China: basic research from 2005 to 2015, deeper exploration from 2015 to 2020, and innovative application from this year .
Progress has been made in specific projects such as the use of mobile phone signalling data to help address traffic jams and understand a city’s spatial layout. However, such projects still face challenges of poor collection and integration of public information.
Yang sees smart city as a direction to improve urbanization with exemplary practices and standards formed within 3 years. His research team focuses on the planning and forecast based on the effective use of data generated from diverse sectors and in inconsistent structure or characteristics, which reflects the true nature of great varieties in dynamic urban life.
The team has made studies in Guangzhou, Nanjing, Weihai and other cities by using data of mobile phone signalling to outline the focal point, data of POI(Point of Interest）to analyse the business, logistics and residential activities, and data of buildings to understand the physical spatial layouts. Such study helps understand if a certain area fulfils the planned functions and what problems need to be solved.
The challenges to promote smart city, in his view, lies on three fronts related to digitalization, intelligence, and digital-empowered operation. No digital twin for a smart city, a virtual replica of a city, has been established in China or foreign countries. Even a city has a digital twin and can be fully represented in the cyberspace, how to realize intelligent operation remains the biggest challenge in a decade. The last stage is to change the elements in the cyberspace so the change correspondingly happen in the real physical city.
The pandemic is also shaping the developing of smart city. To improve response in a public health crisis, a smart city should enable targeted response at the separate community level, build the digital mapping and infection modelling, and assist the more effective prevention and control.