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.
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。
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!
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。
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.
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.