A key science and technology official vowed yesterday to
accelerate the construction of so-called digital cities across the
Lai Ming, director of the science and technology department of
the Ministry of Construction, said at a press conference in Beijing
that informatization is a strategically important part of the
effort to build the country into a modern, well-off, harmonious and
"Building digital cities means introducing information
technologies to city planning, administration, infrastructure
construction and other public service facilities," Lai said.
"The rapid development of telecommunications, the Internet and
other digital technologies has provided very effective solutions to
problems in these fields."
Digital cities are those that use information technology to
deliver municipal services to citizens.
During the 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-05), more than 120 cities
set up information systems for city planning and management, and
over 400 created information systems for real estate management,
according to the ministry.
Lai said the government is strongly committed to building
digital cities and had given such projects a primary place in the
development of the information technology industry and the
construction of city infrastructure during the 11th Five-Year Plan
With support from the Ministry of Science and Technology, the
Ministry of Construction will launch a series of projects expected
to lead to technological breakthroughs in the building of digital
cities, Lai said.
Lai added that the lack of an overall plan and any sort of
national standards had hampered the construction of digital
For example, it is common for the various government sectors
within a single city to develop their own information technology
systems, which often end up being incompatible with each other,
causing many inconveniences for citizens and wasting public
Cui Junzhi, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said
the ideal digital city would successfully blend physical space with
"It would result in an expansion of a city's space and improve
services," Cui said.
Yan Xiaopei, vice-mayor of Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong
Province, said at the meeting that the third China international
Conference on Digital City, which is to be held between September
21 and 23 in the city, would promote the construction of digital
The conference, which is to be jointly organized by the ministry
and the municipal government, will include a forum and an
exhibition of construction technology and equipment.
(China Daily May 10, 2007)