HKSAR gov’t releases smart city blueprint, adds anti-epidemic measures

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government released the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong 2.0 (Blueprint 2.0) on Thursday with more than 130 initiatives, including new measures to cope with epidemic.

The HKSAR government published in December 2017 the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong (Blueprint), setting out 76 initiatives under six smart areas – “Smart Mobility”, “Smart Living”, “Smart Environment”, “Smart People”, “Smart Government” and “Smart Economy”, with a view to addressing the challenges of city management and improving people’s livelihood through innovation and technology (I&T). Among them, more than 40 initiatives are completed or under completion in stages.

Blueprint 2.0 includes initiatives that are under implementation or of an ongoing nature, as well as over 60 new initiatives including setting up the Smart Traffic Fund to promote research and application of vehicle-related I&T; exploring the use of telehealth, video-conferencing and remote consultation in Hong Kong; launching the “smart toilet” pilot program and explore the application of technologies in public toilets; and reforming government services involving applications and approvals under the Streamlining of Government Services Program.

“I&T not only promotes our economic development but is also imperative in enhancing people’s livelihood. Implementation of smart city hence aims to bring benefits and convenience to members of the public by making use of our research and development results to drive Hong Kong forward. In the past three years, various bureaux/departments and related organizations have been committed to taking forward these initiatives,” said the Secretary for Innovation and Technology Alfred Sit.

“The world has been hard hit in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has changed our daily lives and business operation modes a lot,” Sit said.

“Our epidemic control and prevention work over the past 11 months has brought about many insights in taking forward I&T development, including transforming the conventional service modes with an innovative mindset and addressing the new normal with wider use of technologies.”

He said the HKSAR government will strive to incorporate the need for reducing contact among people under the anti-epidemic new normal into the government’s recurrent work. Blueprint 2.0 will also provide a new chapter on “Use of I&T in combating COVID-19.”

The new chapter covers work including deploying the “StayHomeSafe” home quarantine system; deploying the “LeaveHomeSafe” exposure notification and mobile app; and promoting the use of contactless payments in public markets.

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