Urbanisation is creating pressure on China to leverage digital technology to create Smart Cities, which are defined as areas that apply digital technology and intelligent design to facilitate sustainability, along with high-quality living and high-paying jobs.
Initially, there were several ‘beachhead’ cities that embraced Smart City initiatives such as Hangzhou, Chongqing and Chengdu. Subsequently, the China Central Government issued clear guidelines to roll out Smart Cities in a systematic and more widespread way.
While Smart Cities are definitely on the long-term agenda for China’s strategic planning, their impact on corporate real estate and site location decisions remains to be determined.
“Over the past two decades, China has had a powerful economic engine that has driven rapid infrastructure growth across the country in projects ranging from high-speed rail and airports to office towers and shopping malls,” a study report stated.
“So, it is no surprise that China also is moving onto the high-tech super highway with ambitious plans to develop a fleet of Smart Cities.
Another research report said Smart Cities have grown vigorously in China because of the government’s policy support and their potential to alleviate pressing problems encountered by the country due to its rapid economic and urban development, including a declining labour force, ongoing urbanization, and overuse of natural resources.
The report states that with the completion of infrastructure and platforms in 2016, big data that span across different devices and industries will provide even greater opportunity for Chinese Smart Cities.