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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.


Promotional Strategies

Smart cities/townships were planned and promoted by central government and local governments. The lack of regional cooperation planning and interdisciplinary application/integration experience makes it hard to show synergetic effects. Moreover, the developed smart city/township applications scatter at different local governments, resulting in low mutual support. Similar service application system information is not inter-usable and inconvenient for the public to use in different administrative regions. Therefore, it is hard for people to appreciate the service. The Smart Urban and Rural Areas Innovation Action Plan will focus on joint development of smart cities/townships of central government, local governments, industries, academia and research institutions. 

  1. Combine public and private resources to promote joint governance and construction of smart cities/townships and develop people-oriented innovative life application and public service.
    • Promote smart urban/rural development planning with the local governments and accelerate the implementation of various applications approved in verified fields: will focus on a bottom-up approach, in which the local governments will study overall planning of smart cities/townships and prioritize projects from the perspective of people and local demands, and the central competent authorities will formulate promotional strategies and mid-term and long-term projects for smart urban and rural development, plan and integrate private funding and government budget by year and gradually assist in validation in actual fields and overall promotion. Moreover, because the development of smart cities/townships involves various departments, vertical and horizontal communication and integration among government agencies are the keys in the course of promotion. Therefore, an inter-sectoral promotion group will be formed as a platform for implementation, exchange and communication of the aforementioned plans.
    • Enhance the cooperation between academic/research institutes and SMEs, strengthen the regional innovation ecosystem and promote the development of industries related to smart cities/townships: will link city/county governments and resources from industries, academia and research institutes to form SME interdisciplinary innovation centers in line with industrial policies of the city/county governments in accordance with the advantages of regional clusters and status of the industries, and establish an interdisciplinary innovation and cooperation mechanism to guide the innovation of SMEs. Establish a regional industry cluster data analysis platform to observe the growth momentum of local industries, propose long-term development strategies and further connect local industries and SMEs, promote the interdisciplinary innovative ecosystem (e.g., new agriculture + energy, long-term care + smart IoTs) and enhance the competitiveness of regional industries. In addition, we will introduce technologies/technical applications locally for experimental purpose, and assist the members of the ecosystem in developing new types of products/service, finding actual proofs in the fields and developing business models. Connect online and offline channels and marketing to turn the outcomes of innovation into business opportunities, and activate regional economy and drive employment opportunities.
  2. Use smart IoTs to construct high quality living space for nationals
    • Popularize digital space technology applications to enhance benefit of homeland information application: to enhance the benefit of homeland information application and improve homeland space information management, maintenance and circulation mechanism, we will introduce ICT technology to update and maintain mapping information, and make usable, highly precise and frequently updated geo-spatial information available to enhance the value of information, get forward the government’s administration, life service and industrial development.
    • Deploy large-scale intelligent environment sensing system to maintain environmental quality: to ease the impact brought by cultural and environmental change, we will deploy a large-scale smart IoT environmental sensing system through the introduction of technological application. In addition to smart monitoring on air, water quality, water, soil and waste pollution, it also covers smart disaster prevention, smart homeland, smart water resources and smart transport.
    • Popularize national community security system and protect the safety of people: the construction of the national community security system will use ICT technology, such as smart IoT sensing technology, image analysis, big data analysis, cloud service platform to predict, prevent and reduce crimes and accidents, shifting from remedy after the occurrence of accidents to prior warning of upcoming public safety hazards, improve the response mechanism for sudden occurrence or accidents, lower overall operating costs of security, allocate resources more effectively, and further make the security system as a basis for the decision-making analysis of security management.
    • Develop smart transport system, establish people-oriented living environment with sustainable smart transportation: the development and application of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) is able to further combine with people’s mobility and life as the internet and emerging technology optimize. People-oriented transportation will be developed, and interdisciplinary features of Taiwan’s smart transportation service will be integrated. In terms of promotional strategies, three incubational bases (Taipei-Iland corridor incubation base, Hualian-Taitung incubation base and metropolitan incubation base) will be used as a base for systemic smart transportation development from 2017 to 2018. The three incubation bases have their own unique urban population, transportation environment and traffic conflict issues. We will promote a suitable smart transportation plan for each base according to its transportation needs and make sure it is feasible. We will apply the model to other areas with similar characteristics after the plan is amended.
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