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The concept of a smart city has been around the block a few times; from promoting city-wide intelligence to the recent creation of the metaverse. In Hong Kong, the Smart City Blueprint was introduced in December 2017 with 76 initiatives under six smart areas of mobility, living, environment, people, government, and economy.
Some of them have already been completed while others are undergoing the various stages of implementation. Hong Kong is a special example of running a smart city blueprint because of its unique business spectrum, financial composition, and geographical location, both as an international hub and a strategic gateway to China.
The need for an agile and advanced technological infrastructure while addressing a high level of regulatory compliance and answering the public and businesses’ concerns has increased the overall complexity. The COVID-19 pandemic has also been a hindrance to the market’s development.
Because of the city’s uniqueness, we believed these key characteristics will be crucial in driving the success of the market’s smart city implementation.
Using the city’s earlier smart parking solutions projects as a reference, it shows one major common element: the need for a highly customized parking solution. From 2010 to 2020, the number of private cars and van-size vehicles in Hong Kong rose by 44 percent, from 457,000 to about 626,000. The number of parking spaces, meanwhile, grew by 8.6 percent from 633,000 to about 688,000.
As the city’s ratio of public spaces to privately owned cars dropped from 1.38 to 1.10 during the same period, there are clearly not enough parking spaces to cater to the rising demand. Given the complexity of the market, clients and customers who were willing to invest in smart solutions required one that is highly globalized and intensively localized.
The arrival of 5G and cloud technology will drive technological infrastructure for smart cities around the world. As service providers are boosting the pace and developing the necessary framework, businesses are already strategizing on how best to maximize the framework’s usage.
One example is car plate recognition systems. We need to consider expanding its implication not only for reading the registered parking lot owners, but also for leveraging the technology to extend to supporting emergency vehicles to streamline the access, movement, and ways to better support rescue operations.
While a seamless payment experience provides users with welcomed convenience in carrying out online purchases, it has moved beyond that to cover almost every aspect of all our physical and virtual encounters. It relates and helps us stay attached to a vast network within the region and the international arena. These include business dealings, industry orders, utility payments, travel, buying a coffee at a food truck, and even the government’s relief consumption voucher.
In recent years, many property owners required tailored intelligent design to transform their car park facilities, including installing car plate recognition, track and trace, and global positioning technologies.
However, several questions dominated the development stage of these projects. They include payment systems, security platforms, and cloud-based big data analytics. These questions have led to further innovations and technology collaborations in the areas of parking solutions.
Smart City is no doubt our future, regardless of its scope, magnitude, and progression in the region. It is redefining businesses, freeing the standard protocols, and creating new interfaces. It moves us towards more sustainable living in one sense as well as smarter use of resources, be it workforce, financial, or material.
In scaling up convenience, innovation, and quality of life, the essence behind a smart city rests on leveraging, interpreting, and the sophistication of big data. How data is used, structured, protected, and interpreted can mean success or failure.
For example, by using a sensor system at a parking slot in a residential area, the management can quickly segregate the peak time, parking habits, and car owners’ segmentation. This information is not only useful for constructing better parking usage in the residential area, but it also helps to formulate public development.
As the smart city concept continues to evolve, modern cities like Hong Kong will continue to enhance their population’s mobility. DKSH Technology has actively participated in and supported the initiatives under the Smart Mobility projects in Hong Kong.
As a smart city advocator, we have designed various electronic and mobile application payment solutions, smart parking solutions, electric vehicle charging features, car plate recognition, and parking guidance systems. Be it public facilities, business complexes, mega shopping malls, commercial buildings, residential, or revitalization projects, our team has provided specialized consultation and customization to tailor-made and off-the-shelf solutions.
Drop us a note to find out more about how your business can keep up with the shifting pace of smart cities in Asia.
Thomas Fong has been a member of DKSH Hong Kong Management Team and Vice President of Business Unit Technology since 2008. In this function, Thomas oversees two key Business Lines, Car Parking Solutions and IoT solutions, introducing leading and innovative intelligent solutions to exclusive business zones, commercial complex, luxurious shopping malls, and clubhouses to the Hong Kong market.