Smart city development faces challenges

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2023 16:57

Nguyễn Huy Dũng, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, delivered a speech at the Việt Nam - Asia Smart City Summit 2023 held in Hà Nội. — VNS Photo

Building smart cities in Việt Nam faces many challenges, although technology businesses have tried their best to accompany localities in orientation, planning and building, heard attendees at the Việt Nam - Asia Smart City Summit 2023 held in Hà Nội on Wednesday.

The two-day event themed “Data mining - Building a smart and sustainable city” was jointly held by Hà Nội’s Department of Information and Communication and Việt Nam Software and information technology (IT) services (VINASA). It aims to introduce Hà Nội’s digital transformation and smart city development programme by 2025, with a vision towards 2030. It also seeks input from experts and businesses regarding the work and promotes business partnerships between local IT enterprises and their foreign counterparts.

Trương Gia Bình, Chairman of VINASA’s Founding Council, said: “Enterprises such as Viettel and VNPT have co-operated with 45 provinces and cities, building 36 provincial-level Intelligent Operations Centres (IOCs), and 45 district-level IOCs. Viettel has opened IOCs for more than 30 localities. FPT is also trying to advise cities to incorporate intelligence and AI into urban planning and development. Other technology businesses have been creating and bringing the most advanced and effective solutions such as AI, IoT, and 3D Digital Maps to help smarten the management and operation of departments, agencies, urban areas and industrial parks across the country. They are moving towards digital data exploitation and management problems.”

However, he said the biggest challenge for the development of smart cities was that the legal corridor is unclear and not favourable for public-private cooperation, especially procedures related to investment, bidding, and hiring of IT services. In addition, urban areas have not focused on smart planning and basic and essential infrastructure.

“Hà Nội needs distinctive and outstanding mechanisms to attract talents in Việt Nam and abroad, while taking the lead in IT training initiatives regarding both hardware and software,” he said.

2023 is designated as the National Year of Digital Data. Creating a model for collecting, connecting, and data ensuring information security, and exploiting data to serve strategy building, operations, and decision-making in urban management has been the concern of all central and local governments, he added.

Delegates visit a booth showcasing solutions for smart city development. — VNS Photo

Many experiences in co-operation in digital data exploitation and enforcement mechanisms of urban areas such as Jakarta (Indonesia), Huế, Đà Nẵng, as well as from implementation consulting units such as Viettel, VNPT, FPT have been provided. Many smart platforms and solutions were introduced by domestic and international experts and leaders at the conference such as cloud platforms, 5G solutions, IoT products, virtual assistants, AI in healthcare, smart traffic and mobility.

Yudhistira Nugraha, D.Phil, Director of Jakarta Smart City, Department of Communications, Informatics and Statistics, said: “When you're talking about smart cities, it is not only about the technology, smart cities, smart people but also how you will make people happier, improve the quality of life, improve the economic growth and the sustainability.”

Sharing experiences from Indonesia, he said they implemented sensing and understanding and acting, which is called a CRM. It is a platform for citizen government to communicate with each other.

“We implement this concept into our Citizen Relation Management to handle all the problems in our CRM system. With this system, the Provincial Government of DKI Jakarta can handle more than 240,000 problems with 98 per cent solved,” he added.

Nguyễn Huy Dũng, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, said smart city development is about implementing digital transformation within the scope and scale of the urban area but focusing on solving major urban problems, including traffic, environment, energy, waste treatment, and security. To achieve these in a systematic way, smart elements must be identified, calculated and included right from the urban and city planning. The development of smart cities at the local level must be closely integrated with the digital transformation process. The two should be inseparable and non-duplicative, and place people at the centre.

“Smart city development is about building a modern and effective method of urban development and operation based on the application of innovative and creative technologies, not a discrete set of systems, application of specialised agencies because urban issues are closely related to each other. Localities must ensure a close connection with the local digital transformation process, without separation or duplication with the aim to be people-centred,” he added.

Trần Sỹ Thanh, Chairman of the Hà Nội People's Committee, said that the sustainable smart city model that the capital aspires to achieve will provide a high-quality living environment of convenience, safety, and friendliness for all residents. The city aims to establish an administration that serves the development of organisations and businesses in a dynamic economy, with an increasing emphasis on the digital economy.

“A sustainable city is a developed city with all smart amenities, expressed through smart choices, smart solutions, smart technology,” he said, adding that Hà Nội acknowledges smart and digital transformation as its top priority.

“Hà Nội targets to formulate a government for the growth of companies and organisations with a dynamic economic structure, in which the digital economy accounts for a large proportion. The summit is the opportunity for us to clarify and seek answers for the issues and give us new angles in smart city growth and sustainable development,” he added.

On the second day of the event, outstanding smart city development trends in Việt Nam will be summarised and announced by the organising committee at the smart city award announcement and honouring ceremony 2023. — VNS

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