In 2015, there were 29 international Mega Cities (more than 10 million people) in the world. With the increasing urban population, crowdedness, traffic congestion, air pollution, environmental problems and climate change, the demand for infrastructure, such as traffic, health care, education and public safety also increases. How to use smarter, more innovative and more efficient way to govern cities, enhance the quality of life of the public and assist industrial development has become an important issue for the cities.
With the development of internet and technology applications, countries have put forward smart city policy and vision planning, apply ICT technologies in urban governance, promote various smart constructions to meet the public’s needs. In addition to actively strengthening the completeness of infrastructure, the government also try to understand the needs of the people more deeply in order to introduce service and living environment that is closer to people’s needs.
The population of Taiwan is concentrated in six major cities. Although the population is below Mega City level (at least one million people), the population density of several metropolitan areas, especially Taipei City (9,934 people per square kilometer), is similar to or even exceeding the level of international Mega Cities. Therefore, in terms of population density, such urban areas in Taiwan also share the common governance issues faced by Mega Cities. To balance urban and rural development, enable people to enjoy high quality living space, develop sustainable and livable urban and rural areas, while promoting regional innovative ecosystems so that people can enjoy safe and healthy life and connect with “digital nation and smart island”, the Smart Cities/Townships Regional Innovation Action Plan will apply digital innovation to promote urban and rural joint ecosystems and create high quality of life that is happy, growing, safe and sustainable.
In this vision, the future appearance of smart cities/townships includes environmental sustainability, convenient transportation, safety and disaster prevention, and regional innovation. “Environmental sustainability” allows people to inquire township-level air quality bulletin, ban the source of air pollution, reduce water restriction and fallow, stay away from the threat of floods, conserve river ecosystem, provide better living environment and improve quality of life through construction of public IoTs and synchronized detection and management of environmental pollution, air quality and water quality, and water resources information management; Through urban and rural traffic network, “convenient transportation” allows people to use route guide and parking information from cities to towns, and choose public transportation and car sharing services timely and properly; “Safety and disaster prevention” is timely transmission of disaster prevention information and provision of early warning. People can use the disaster and crime warning service through the safety protection networks co-constructed by urban and rural areas to ensure safety and security. Moreover, earthquake monitoring and expansion of on-site earthquake rapid reporting system master station can improve the credibility of earthquake reporting as well as Taiwan’s early warning capacity against earthquake and tsunami; “Regional innovation” shapes innovation and entrepreneurship ecological circles and drive regional economic development through cooperation between local academic and research institutions and local enterprises.