Development of Digital City Gains Steam

Television has become a guide to local life. Restaurant reviews, shopping guides and even health tips have flooded the airwaves. But this is only the beginning of a trend towards greater access to information.

The digital city is the future of this trend. To this end, the government has vowed to advance informatization of the public administration and public facilities such as the water and electricity supplies and sewage treatment, said Professor Lai Ming, director of the science and technology department of the Ministry of Construction.

"Narrowly speaking, the digital city means that informatization will be introduced to urban planning, urban measuring, real estate development, construction administration and other public facilities," Lai said at a conference held by the Ministry of Construction yesterday. The process will be finished in major Chinese cities in the next 10 years.

Lai revealed that his ministry is working on a series of policies and measures to guide the digital city's development.

A guide to the development of the digital city will be released by the ministry at a forum titled "China International Digital City Construction Conference," to be held between September 18 and 21 in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

The meeting is expected to involve hundreds of Chinese mayors and chief executive officers of information technology enterprises.

Claiming the digital city's development will create at least 50 billion yuan (US$6 billion) annually in the coming 10 years, Lai and other officials stressed that the government will not be major player in the game.

In major Chinese cities, newly developed real estate projects have been required to install broadband and Lai indicated that information technology will soon be a major factor in Chinese urban planning.

"We will provide guiding principles and technological assistance, but it is up to the local government to choose how to develop their digital city construction," said Lai.

The Ministry of Science and Technology is also setting standards concerning information exchanges and technological research in the development of the digital city, said Zheng Lizhong, director of the ministry's high-tech department.

(China Daily 05/23/2001)

In This Series

Experimental Digital TV Broadcasting to Go

Digital Earthquake Observation Network Opens

Beijing Sees Digital Community in Two Years



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