Taipei City comes to life as a 'Smart City'

Deputy Mayor Charles Lin discusses the future of Taipei

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Taipei City welcomes tech integration. (Image from Smart City website)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei City hosted the largest smart expo in Asia, Smart City Summit & Expo (SCSE), in March, and Taiwan News sat down with Taipei City Deputy Mayor Charles Lin (林欽榮) on May 4 to learn more about Taipei’s implementation of the Smart City initiatives.

Smart City

Taipei developed the “Smart City” initiative (智慧城市) as a blueprint for the development of the city’s economic future based on integrating technology into the city landscape. The implementation of smart city development has been a priority for municipal officials since 2015, recalled Lin, and overall the project is aimed at improving public welfare and the international status of the city.

On the second day of SCSE, Taipei City officials, including Deputy Mayor Lin, announced the Global Organization of Smart Cities (GO SMART) initiative. This initiative is a plan to “bring Taipei to the World” by 2019, supported by 18 international cities.

The initiative emphasizes Taipei as a living lab, as a facilitator for innovation, as a co-organizer of the smart city expo, and as a provider of mechanisms to create a smarter future, explained Lin.

Smart Housing

During the interview, Lin emphasized the importance of the smart public housing (智慧公宅), which will provide smart and affordable housing to those in need. The municipal government hopes to establish new “living patterns” for public housing that integrate social involvement and green energy into everyday life.

Further, each housing community will provide essential facilities with smart features in day care, libraries, and convenient stores. The smart elements of the communities will acquire data and then “track to predict” occupant needs as well as community needs related to infrastructure, for instance in the event of an earthquake.

The smart housing community is modeled after similar communities in Japan and will be located within the city, not on the periphery.

Smart Business

Lin said that the municipal government aims to be a platform from which social needs can be met and which functions differently from enterprises in the private sector.

Smart Housing is part of a larger municipal scheme called the “5+N’s”, which plans to bring innovation to five public sectors: medical, transportation, education, e-payments, and housing.

Notable additions under the “5+N plan” includes the implementation of a driverless bus test track in Beitou-Shilin Technology Park, free iPads issued to students, new opportunities for expanded business partnerships with hospitals, and various fintech innovations.