China announces 9 pilot 'smart cities'

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As China accelerates the pace of its urbanization, the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation unveiled its Smart City program on Tuesday with the first nine selected pilot cities.

"The first nine cities are expected to finish Smart City construction within about three years and it will gradually expand to the whole country," said Li Weisen, deputy director of the administration.

The nine cities are Taiyuan in Shanxi, Guangzhou in Guangdong, Xuzhou and Wuxi in Jiangsu, Linyi and Zibo in Shandong, Zhengzhou in Henan, Chongqing, and Huhan in Hubei. Every pilot city will invest more than 36 million yuan ($5.8 million) in the program each year.

The Smart City program aims to create an innovation network, optimizing the use of technology in the design and operation of infrastructure and buildings in a way that meets the city's current and future demands.

Li believed that the program will trigger a potential market of more than 30 billion yuan ($4.8 billion).

"The Smart City program will be the solution to problems such as traffic congestion and pollution arising from rapid urbanization," Li said.

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