Major global conference examines the role technology and data will play in urban areas now and in the future.
By 2050, 66 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities, up from 54 per cent in 2014.
It’s a problem presenting major headaches to city planners around the world, from London to Dubai, New York to Tel Aviv. But surprisingly, while the cities may change, the main challenge is the same: how to make life better and easier for the people who live there.
This was the recurring topic of the Smart City InFocus conference in Yinchuan, China, earlier this month, where 1,000 delegates from 66 countries across six continents met to discuss possible solutions.
The choice of location was apt: Yinchuan, which lies 552 miles west of Beijing, is one of China’s 200 smart cities – a city using technology and data with the aim of improving life for all who live there.
At first sight, Yinchuan appears far from a technological wonder. The historic centre of the Ningxia Hui region, it is a bustling city of two million people and a fascinating mix of old and new, high-rise office blocks sitting next to historic pagodas, fast cars jostling on the roads alongside heavy-laden bicycles.
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