Taiwan's Matsu Islands recognized as one of world's top 'Smart Communities'

Lienchiang County makes 2020 list of 'Smart21 Communities'

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Night view of Qinbi Village, Lienchiang County (photo from Taiwan Tourism Bureau)

Night view of Qinbi Village, Lienchiang County (photo from Taiwan Tourism Bureau)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Lienchiang County (連江縣), better known internationally as the Matsu (馬祖) Islands, has joined the ranks of the top “smart cities” according to the Intelligent Community Forum’s (ICF) Smart21 Communities global ranking for 2020.

This is the first year that Matsu has been featured on the annual list of the 21 Smart Communities, which will now compete for seven positions as the top Intelligent Communities of the Year. Matsu joins Chiayi City (嘉義市), which has been ranked by the ICF every year since 2017.

In May 2018, Lienchiang County established a Smart City Promotion Committee (智慧城市推動委員會), which has worked diligently towards implementing smart infrastructure projects. Some examples of their smart infrastructure include a real-time public bus monitoring system, a smart campus alert system, and online booking services for tourists to arrange government-sponsored tours at famous sites like the “blue tears” and the famous Qinbi Village (芹壁聚落), reports CNA.

Matsu is the second of Taiwan’s offshore island communities to be recognized as a model smart community of the 21st century, with Kinmen County (金門縣) having made the list in 2018. Other Taiwanese cities that have been recognized by the ICF in recent years include Tainan, which was listed for running from 2017 to 2019, and Taoyuan, which was recognized from 2016 to 2019.

New Taipei, Kaohsiung, Keelung, Taichung, Hsinchu, Yilan County, Taitung County, and Changhua County have all made appearances among the ICF Smart21 Communities over the last eight years. The strong showing by Taiwanese communities is a testament to the country’s commitment to technological innovation and sustainable development.

Since the ICF began rating the world’s top smart communities, only three years have passed without a Taiwanese city or county being included (2010, 2008, and 2007). Taipei only made an appearance in 2006, the first year the ICF began compiling the list.