IEEE Core Smart City Profile - Wuxi, China

Like many cities worldwide, the city of Wuxi, China is experiencing rapid urbanization that is providing it unprecedented rights and advantages on the world stage, political, economically and technologically. But with this growth comes challenges such as increased pollution, higher unemployment, traffic congestion, energy shortages, insufficient housing and disease.

Transforming into a smart city is a key strategy for Wuxi’s goal of creating a sustainable city and healthy communities. To that end, it has identified a number key areas to develop applications, including construction and management of the city, safety operation, transportation, energy conservation and environmental protection, healthcare, housing, culture, and education.

Wuxi’s approach to becoming a smart city is to take a scientific outlook on development, with the motto “Charming Wuxi, Innovative Wuxi, Pioneering Wuxi and Happy Wuxi” as its construction theme. Major projects, including engineering projects, will drive the development of a city held together by information infrastructure with the goal of being one of the most advanced cities in China for economic transformation and scientific, sustainable development. By 2020, Wuxi will be a safer, more convenient, more efficient and greener city by leveraging information communications technology (ICT).

To achieve world-class smart city status, Wuxi has identified five major tasks:

  • Strengthening the top design and construction of infrastructure
  • Innovating city management and improving operational efficiency
  • Promoting public service and improving the quality of citizens’ life
  • Sharing and using resources effectively
  • Strengthening the information industry and promoting industry transformation

Leveraging ICT has been a critical focus for Wuxi since 2007 when it was announced the city would build a sensor center for China and two years later was approved to create a state-level demonstration of a sensor network. It now has an approved development plan that spans 2012 to 2020. Wuxi has also established partnerships with three major telecom operators to support plans to create a wireless city. Meanwhile, it has attracted major ICT corporations, including the IBM Chinese Systems and Technology Development Center, which will support the smart city initiative through cloud computing projects, and co-funding the Siemens-Wuxi Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation Center. IoT is very much a key component of Wuxi’s smart city efforts. There are nearly 800 companies in the city what focus on IoT from the perspective of software, manufacturing and systems integration. Microsoft has established a global technical support center in Wuxi and will cooperate in areas of the software industry, including cloud computing. The city’s own cloud computing center was established in 2013 with investment from the Dawn Group.

In addition to the international tech giants that have set up research and development centers in Wuxi, influential state own-enterprises have established a presence in the in the city, including the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Space Agency, China Mobile and China Telecom. Wuxi’s smart city initiative is also supported by universities from across the country, with 18 focused on IoT and scientific research. Wuxi is looking to broaden its IoT industry further and it’s anticipated that IoT will be widely used in industry and agriculture.

More intelligent transportation and safety systems will be conceived in part due to IoT development, and the environmental health of the city will be address as pollution sources will monitored automatically and hazardous chemical substances will be better supervised. Hospital management will also be improved with each citizen having their own electronic heath record. Community hospitals will be equipped with remote health monitoring capabilities and the ability to share diagnostic information.

At a broad level, Wuxi will be a city that shares information by opening up interfaces to the public and business, as well as the integration of information systems across different government departments to create a cloud-based e-government platform that benefits residents and improves the efficiency of city operations.

By 2016, Wuxi hopes to build the next generation of its city-wide fiber network, a state-level supercomputer center, several cloud computing centers and a large data center for the city. All of these will support the smart city initiative by improving government applications, optimizing city management through a smart grid system that connects land and people across the city, and improves the overall livelihoods of citizens.

 

To learn more about Wuxi, China, please visit the city's website: http://www.wuxi.gov.cn.