How building a smart city means building a city’s climate resilience?

Recently a heavy rainstorm broke out in Western Japan, bringing serious landslides and flooding, resulting in one of the worst climate disasters in decades. While it is vital to carry out remedial measures, preventive ones are just as critical. This caused me to reflect on a city’s resilience to climate change and how a city can be smartened up against sudden climate catastrophes.

A smart city can be the key to boosting up a city’s resilience against natural hazards. A smart city is one that adopts information and communication technology (ICT) for a better management of urban resources to achieve a higher quality of life and work efficiency. If a city is smart enough, it should be resilient to sudden climate disasters and emergencies. For example, Internet of Things (IoTs) sensors and big data analysis can be adopted to establish monitoring and alarm systems against many types of climate hazards, like earthquakes, flooding, storms, etc. Such an alarm system can be adopted in the form of a mobile app, to be easily and widely accessible to the public. Emergency navigation can be provided on the same system to guide people to safe places as well.

While it is important to build a city’s climate resilience, it is essential to make the city eco-friendly to cut down carbon emissions to fight against climate change in the first place. Copenhagen for instance, set a role model in transiting to a zero carbon economy by implementing a climate plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. This shows that a smart city does not simply folster climate resilience but can even combat climate change!

Hopefully in the future technologies and innovations can be adopted to solve many more urban problems and make life happier.


建立智慧城市能如何加強城市面對氣候變化的適應力

近期日本西部暴雨成災,造成嚴重山泥傾瀉和水浸,是近幾十年來最嚴峻的暴雨。救災行動固然重要,但未雨綢繆的預防工作亦必不可少。是次水災讓我反思到城市適應氣候變化的能力的重要性,以及發展智慧城市(Smart City)能如何提升城市面對氣候變化的抵抗力,減輕天災禍害的影響。

智慧城市以資訊及通訊科技(Information and Communications Technology)來管理城市和城市資源,以提高生活質素和工作效率。建立智慧城市同時有助增強城市抵禦氣候變化的能力。一個有足夠「智慧」的智慧城市足以抵抗突發的氣候災禍和緊急狀況,例如,利用物聯網(Internet of Things)感測器和大數據(Big Data)分析技術針對各類氣候災害如地震、水浸、風災等建立監察和警報系統,以手機程式的形式供大眾使用。系統亦可包括緊急路線導航的功能來引導民眾疏散至安全地方。

雖然加強城市的氣候變化適應力相當重要,但卻只是治標的做法,讓城市變得低碳環保從而緩和氣候變化才是治本的措施。以哥本哈根為例,該城計劃在二零二五年前達到零碳排放,減輕全球暖化,可見智慧城市不但能抵禦氣候變化,更能夠緩和改善氣候變化。

期望未來創新科技能被應用解決更多城市問題,讓生活變得更好。

Startup Community in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is well known for being a happy and smart city. That’s why I was really excited about joining the Startup Weekend of the Copenhagen Fintech Week and couldn’t wait to meet the dynamic FinTech startup community there!

The Copenhagen Fintech Week was an international event where people from all around the world came together to share insights on latest hot topics in the Fintech world like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, cybersecurity, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), open banking, etc. As part of the Copenhagen Fintech Week, the Startup Weekend embraced novel ideas from Fintech startups and provided a competitive yet potentially collaborative platform for innovation initiators. There we worked on projects that interested us, honed our ideas with exchanges from fellow participants and help from coaches, and finally got to pitch our work.

It was a valuable experience working and interacting with inspiring people, and building up our ideas with the insights and experience from like-minded fellows. I really appreciated the opportunity and looked forward to more to come!


參與哥本哈根的金融科技周,與各地初創企業家互動交流

哥本哈根是知名的快樂和智慧城市,所以我相當高興能參與其金融科技周的初創周末,急不及待和那裏的金融科技初創社區見面交流!

哥本合根的金融科技周是個國際盛事,來自世界各地的專業人士會聚首一堂,分享探究金融科技世界最新最流行的議題,這次的主題涵蓋人工智能(Artificial Intelligence),區塊鏈技術(Blockchain)、網絡安全(Cybersecurity)、可持續發展目標(Sustainable Development Goals)、開放銀行(Open banking)等等。而初創周末作為金融科技周的一部分,特別為初創企業和項目發起人提供一個鼓勵協作又具競爭性的平台,讓我們能在此開展我們感興趣的想法或項目,並藉着和與會者交流看法和導師的建議而加以完善,最後我們有機會匯報自己的項目提案。

這實在是個難得的體驗,能夠和不同背景但志同道合的與會者和初創企業家互動,藉大家的經驗和建議來改善加強彼此的項目想法,實在受益匪淺,期待未來更多與各地金融初創交流的機會!

 

Highlights from a Day Trip in Lyon, France (2/3)

I seized the opportunity to pay a visit to TUBA, a co-working space devoted to developing and experimenting innovation projects for smart city. TUBA engages large enterprises, startups and the public to work together to innovate urban solutions especially by harnessing public, private and personal data.

TUBA is truly a role model as an innovation hub, project incubator and open data studio. The work culture and atmosphere are really comfortable and conducive to synergies. In TUBA, data is valued and plays a critical role in connecting project initiators, developers and users. Project initiators can work with experts, data scientists, fellow developers, etc in the hub in innovating using data, and test out new projects with the public. That also means the public can be actively engaged in co-building solutions to drive the smart city development as well.

Building a smart city needs the concerted effort by every city user. TUBA is a good inspiration on how.


一日飽覽里昂風光

遊覽里昂時我不忘抽空參觀TUBÀ,TUBÀ是里昂特別為開發智慧城市項目而設的共享工作中心及數據實驗室,透過共享和應用數據來創新和研發科技項目。TUBÀ把大型企業、初創公司和公眾連繫起來,讓他們在同一工作空間利用公營、私營和個人數據共同創新、發展和實驗智慧城市項目,讓里昂變得更聰明和有效率。

在TUBÀ的體驗讓我大開眼界,身兼創新科研實驗室、項目培育和數據開放中心,TUBÀ是個值得學習的楷模。共享空間讓工作文化和氣氛來得十分輕鬆舒服,對共同協作饒有助益。同時,數據在連結項目發起人、開發人員和使用者上起了關鍵作用,發起人不但可以和不同專家、數據科學家和研發人員共同合作,又能接觸公眾,讓其一起測試、實驗創新項目,如此大眾就能積極參與共同開發以智慧城市為目標的創科項目和解決方案。

建立智慧城市需要每個城市用戶的參與和努力,而TUBÀ即為此提供了一個極具參考意義的做法。

Harmonising Mobility, Convenience, Safety and Choice in a City

I was strolling around streets in Toronto. Carefully examining every component of the street, I was amazed by the harmonic coexistence of different forms of transport. As the photo above shows, the city not only allows the coexistence of cars, trams and bikes, but also puts them in a harmonious configuration. The citizens can choose to commute by walking, cycling, taking the tram or driving their own cars.

This is a good example of a well-planned city. It was constructed to facilitate different choices of transport and it demonstrates how pedestrian paths, roads, railways and bike paths can be structured harmoniously as a whole to facilitate these choices. Any cities that strive for a low carbon lifestyle and smart mobility may take this as a reference.


智慧出行在多倫多

漫步在多倫多的街頭,看着面前的景致不禁感嘆多倫多把智慧出行和諧融入到城市規劃中,如上圖所示,不同出行方法相輔相成,私家車、電車、單車在這個城市有其位置,市民可以自由選擇交通方法,方便規劃行程。

可見多倫多在城市規劃階段把智慧出行納為重要考量,以方便市民出行為本,不同的交通建設如行人道、馬路、鐵道和單車徑都配合得宜,同時鼓勵低碳綠色的生活方式,為實施智慧出行提供了有用的參考。