|Write-Up: Envisioning Hong Kong as Smart and Green City|
By Ms. Annie Wang, D’Evénitif
In collaboration with the Smart City Expo World Congress, the European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (ECC) with its ICT Business Council presented the “Envisioning Hong Kong as Smart and Green City” seminar on 14th May. The seminar is one of the series of cross-industrial seminars organised with the support of the EU-funded Business Information Programme.
Mr. Vincent Piket, Head of Office, European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao making an opening remarks
Mr. Juha Räisänen, Chairman of the ECC, in his welcoming speech, invited the participants to think outside the box; define and re-define a smart and green city; re-evaluate the role that technology plays and think about smart solutions that could have technological input transferred to innovations that take into consideration the citizens-users. As the seminar covered two major themes in mobility and energy, it opened doors for multi-sectorial discussions on how different groups can work together to make the city smarter and greener.
Speakers that gathered for the panel discussions include specialists in information technology, for example, Mr. Victor Lam, Deputy Government Chief Information Officer in Consulting and Operations, HKSAR and Mr. William Barrar, Head of Strategy and Change, Customer Engagement of Ericsson. The technological perspectives towards smart cities met with that of the speakers looking at the citizens-users and how they are able to benefit from the reduced amount of dependence on technology.
Mr. Juha Räisänen, Chairman, European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong
In the interview with Dr. Lauri Tuomi and Ms. Sakariina Heikkanen from the Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Finland, they introduced the concept of Living Labs where the end-users are involved in the innovation process. It challenges the conventionally secluded research procedures. Having collaborated with the city of Helsinki, Dr. Tuomi has some examples to share with Hong Kong, “In the development of smart cities, end-users and companies should be in a kind of a networked collaborative development process. The Living Lab approach is a package of methods to co-create this network with the end-users.” This allows the citizens to actively participate in the planning, development and the operation processes. The knowledge in the engagement in open innovations and the implementation of open data could be learnt from the fellow smart city of Helsinki.
When addressing the challenge of taking bolder steps forward towards creating a smarter and greener Hong Kong, Mr. Luís Gómez of the Smart City Expo World Congress emphasised the importance of breaking the silos as well as integrating the different verticals and areas of the city management towards the same goal. The seminar that engaged the audience who raised questions and shared their thoughts in multiple dimensions such as climate challenge, mitigation of damages, pollution and the effective accessibility of application resources, paving the way for further open discussions that should engage the public on how we turn the knowing into doing as well as how to sustain concrete activities in Hong Kong towards a smarter and greener city.
(From left) Prof. Yee Leung, Dr. Lauri Tuomi, Ms. Sakariina Heikkanen and Dr. Anne Kerr on third panel discussion focusing on talking about new forms of data-sharing across open platforms