UK-China Smartcities Phase 2 launched

Having successfully completed the first phase of this initiative, which was essentially to scope out how discussion and sharing knowledge could be turned to real demonstration activities, phase two- which is to “Design and Deliver” has now kicked off. The aim of the project is “to transform major urbanization initiatives in Chinese cities into a global exemplar of smart city development through the integrated design and delivery of smart city solutions utilising UK SME technologies and expertise gained through Triangulum in Manchester.” The development of smart cities is a major policy initiative of UK and Chinese governments as well as the European Commission and has been the subject of several high level Ministerial led discussions and is a topic within the current EU-China Dialogue on ICT.

Manchester City Council and EU e-Forum have been joined in this second phase of the UK China Smart Cities initiative by BDP (Building Design Partnership) and UK Future Cities Catapult. On the Chinese side, the key partners are Digital China- the largest integrated IT service provider in China representing and being supported by the Advisory Committee of State Information (ACSI). Following the results of the ‘Smart Cities Challenge’, inviting SMEs to be introduced to the Chinese market through utilising the evolving and strengthening relationships, several SMEs are also involved.

The key focus for this second phase is to build on the initial planning activities and actually contribute to the development of a large area of Wuhan’s smart city initiative. We will use this major urbanization initiative in Wuhan as a global exemplar of smart city development through the integrated design and delivery of solutions, using UK SME technologies and expertise, whilst affecting policy in China.

The role of Manchester is to consolidate its existing long-standing Sister-city relationship with Wuhan and to contribute to further strengthening by actively working with their Economic and Development Committee on a Wuhan based initiative. This will become an exemplar for China. Wuhan Economic and Development Committee is providing the necessary demonstration site. The role of EU e-Forum, is to sustain the China-EU Public Administration project (CEPAII) initiated activities with the Chinese Academy of Government and Tianjin and with the Policy Dialogue Support Fund initiated “Fifteen Chinese Smart Cities Group” from the EU-China Smart Green Cities Project and supported by MITT/Chinese Academy of ICT (CAICT formerly CATR). The 15 “secondary” cities are: Haidian District, Beijing, Binhai New Area, Tianjin, Pudong, Shanghai Nantong City, Jiangsu Province, Huai’an City, Jiangsu Province, Yangzhou City, Jiangsu Province Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province, Zhangzhou City, Fujian Province Yantai City, Shandong Province, NanSha New Area, Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province Qianhai, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, Hengqin, Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province.

The first phase- the Smart and Green Cities: Planning and Governance project, identified five key themes for the successful development of smart cities. A range of policy recommendations, solutions and SME quick wins were identified as part of this project. However, one of the big challenges which need to be further addressed is the ability of highly innovative SMEs to get a foothold in this growth market; this is particularly challenge in China. This project is addressing this challenge by focusing on a major new development in Wuhan based on the lessons learned and dealings with UKTI. At the core is the principle of building relationships through real collaborations rather than through marketing activities, helping to open doors on the basis of known needs. From the Chinese perspective, valuable lessons will be learned and wastage of resources on haphazard smart city developments will help standardize approaches and create more sustainable solutions in the future, contributing the new social development model sought. Input will be received into policy deliberations at both City and State Council levels.

The demonstration site

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The Wuhan Qingshan Central Business District will be a newly constructed commercial retail and living quarter of some 2.9km2 with a footplate of 3.5m2. Taking the Yangtze riverscape and associated heritage buildings it will have three iconic elements highlighting the spatial layout: Two Cores – Qingshan Intelligence Core alone riverside and Fashion Life Core alone metro station; Two Axes – Business Axis alone riverside and Commercial Axis perpendicular to the river; Two Green Corridors – Riverside Park and Railway Park with distinguished its core. Combining the public-transport- based urban design strategy and high-efficiency infrastructure, the new urban environment provides the opportunity to create a flagship smart city development integrating a range of key city systems and infrastructures through intelligent design.

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Disseminating the benefits

The benefits of this project will not be confined to Manchester and Wuhan alone. An ‘observer’ layer will be established to facilitate dissemination and wider take-up of SME applications as well as absorbing other best practice from the UK, China and the global. To this end the C40 Mayors, UK Core Cities and the 15 Chinese cities from the EU China Smart Cities network will play a key role.

Digital China will utilize its client cities to further generate take-up of any results whilst eForum will continue to share information with those cities and organisations which have participated in previous EU-funded initiatives such as CEPAII, The PDSF EU-China Smart Cities and EU-China ICT Projects. The project is recognized at EU, National and Regional levels as being a major focus for UK and EU-China activity and further EU funding should enhance its capabilities and has significant support at all levels in China.

Project Outputs and Activity

Output 1. The Project Implementation Plan setting out in detail what we will do. Quarterly Reports will track progress against this plan.

Outputs 2 and 3. A pattern of co-operative activity has been designed which will lead to the design, development and commissioning of a series of smart city solutions developed by the SMEs for deployment. These solutions may or may not have already been tested within Manchester’s ‘Lighthouse’ project (as well as other UK core cities). Thus two outputs will be these smart city solutions for immediate adoption in Wuhan.

Outputs 4a-4f. At each phase of this activity, entailing workshops and “learning journeys” a report will be provided. Six cycles of interaction in the UK and in China are planned for and this would generate six reports delivered at regular intervals throughout the project.

Output 5. Whilst the budget cannot be overstretched to provide training, a repository of materialwill be started in collaboration with other initiatives and a preliminary outline of a course, leading to MBAs and involving “project work” in the field will be delivered. This will seek to put in place a mechanism for wider take-up of the results of the project after its completion and ensure continuity.

Output 6. The material will be made available on the project website.

Output 7. Playing a leading role in the development of Smart Green Cities is a key aim and to do this, a clear Dissemination Strategy will be produced at the beginning of the project and progress reported on the activities carried out within the regular reports referred to above.

Output 8. We feel that this project would gain considerably by being aware of the other FCO initiatives and so would also include a workshop to be hosted in the UK to ensure synergies are capitalized upon, to which other UK cities with Chinese links would be invited along with the Technology Strategy Board’s initiatives, unless this activity is already provided for. All this will contribute to the non-tangible outputs such as increased capacity and awareness-raising.

Output 9. A Final Report will be published and within this, a summary of the successful catalyst effect of the project and an indication of new initiatives which have evolved from this key project, raising the profiles of the UK participants in China. (M15) The outputs and activities have been grouped into four sections of “work-packages” with shared responsibility under a leader for each work-package.

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Work packages

Work package 1. Project Co-ordination and Management

Output 1. Project Implementation Plan and 8 Quarterly Reports.

Output 8. A Final Report for the whole project

Work Package 2. Smart City Solutions Development between UK and Chinese partners

Outputs 3a-3f. Alternating workshops in China and the UK with a report, six in total, being provided to cover each element of activity.

Three cycles of interaction in the UK and in China are planned for. The first cycle will focus ondesign and involve workshops in China and UK to understand in greater depth the development itself and solutions required (Wuhan) and how these can work in practice though visits to live test-beds in the UK (Manchester and other core cities). The second cycle will focus on development, which involve bi-lateral dialogues between solutions providers and Wuhan facilitated by Digital China through an ‘Innovation Platform’. These on-line dialogues will be complemented by two further workshops in China to develop these solutions to meet the needs of the development in Wuhan, one of these will include a wider ‘learning journey’ across other Chinese cities, whilst the other will be focused in Wuhan with the developer community. The third cycle will be aroundcommissioning; this will involve the live testing of the solution, validation and a period of monitoring and evaluation. As part of this final cycle two dissemination events will be held, one in China and one in the UK.

A key principle within these cycles of learning will be that the host and the visitors share a learning experience moving away from the notion that one has the best practice and the other comes to receive wisdom to a more collaborative and rule driven process, with academic support to lead the interaction.

All efforts will be examined in the context of their policy implications both for the city and the State and recommendations made.

Work Package 3. Solutions Compendium

Output 2.  Solutions Compendium. There is an urgent requirement for a single compendium to act as the ‘go to place’ for smart city solutions, developed from an independent perspective. It is proposed that through the various workshops and input from wider organisations such as C40 and Future Cities Catapult, that a compendium is produced around the five key challenges identified in the Smart and Green Cities: Planning and Governance project. These will focus around city profiles amongst other aspects of smart city development. The key audience for this will be for ‘second tier’ cities to accelerate their transition to a smart city based upon proven practice.

Work Package 4. Dissemination

Under this work package, we will several related tasks.

Output 7. Creation of a clear Dissemination Strategy which will be produced at the beginning of the project and progress reports on the activities carried out within the regular reports referred to in Work Package 1.

The project, if approved, will be launched in China at the time of official launch of the new UK Consulate General in Wuhan in the week of March 23rd, around which a series of high profile events are planned to include speaking slots has for senior representatives of the partners.

Subsequent events will be planned to coincide with visits and workshops and every effort will be made to “piggy-back” on all the events being organised by related initiatives, such as CEPA II, EU-China Smart Green Cities, EC-Link and others.

Output 6. The project website will be set up. This will contain the repository for the following output.

Output 5. This is the repository of material which will be gathered during the project, on the topic of smart green cities, which will be utilized to provide a preliminary outline for an MBA course, which will also suggest the kind of “project work” which would contribute to the replication of the policies in other cities. (M15)

Whilst not an output linked to this project, every effort will be made to provide exemplar “quick wins” which will be provided to Chinese cities. An example would be some of the Open-Source tools already in use in Manchester and Bristol or those available from existing EU funded initiatives such as eParticipation, consultation, visualization and modelling/simulation tools, which will enable Chinese government to meet its aims of being more citizen-centric in the urban planning process. Success here will be reported in the Final Report.

Output 8. Additional UK workshop/event bringing together other UK-China initiatives and UK cities with Chinese links to ensure synergies are capitalised upon, along with the Technology Strategy Board’s initiatives, unless this activity is already provided for elsewhere.