Taipei launches smart city network

28th March 2018 Jonathan Andrews

The Taiwanese capital has pre-launched a new smart city network called the Global Organisation of Smart Cities, or Go Smart, to communicate ideas and develop IoT innovations for smart cities.

The network is aimed towards local and regional governments, institutions and industry. Twenty-seven cities from Malaysia, Argentina, Australia, the UK, France, Czech Republic, the US and others have already signed MoUs to join the initiative.

Speaking at the Taipei Smart City Summit and Expo, the deputy mayor of Taipei, Charles Lin, said that although the network is in its pre-launch phase, he foresees it developing into a platform for sharing ideas and data.

“Taipei wants to be, and is willing to be, the hub of smart city solution providers, hence the pre-launch of Go Smart,” he said. “Core areas of focus will include transport, buildings, healthcare, and education.”

A secretariat will be based in Taipei although ‘roaming’ sub committees will meet over the next 12 months to fine tune the principles in member cities.

“It is networking but networking to build a protocol on ICT, on smart cities which will be set up and not be dominated by one city,” Lin added in a press conference. “More details will come from further discussions among the members of Go Smart.”

Taiwanese Minister without Portfolio John Deng said that he hopes that the network will usher in a new wave of economic development for Taiwan, one of the original ‘Asian tigers’.

“This is based on our IoT expertise and also our technological expertise,” he said. “It is actually very difficult for [Taiwan] to put together a platform for international cooperation. This is huge for us.”

Lin added that although the concept of smart cities is an important way to create a ‘new economy’ using IoT as a technological base, achieving this will require the creation of systems of evaluation.

“The way to produce a smart city does not mean a technological city,” he said. “All over the world, cities are facing population, demographic and climate challenges but we are also facing the problems of the new economy. City residents are asking more from us and while technology will be one of the solutions it won’t be the answer to everything.”

The next steps involve member cities coming to Taipei to further define the organisational structure of Go Smart, membership application and operating mode, ahead of its official launch at the 2019 Taipei Smart City Summit and Expo.

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