Business / Industry Watch

Smart cities to drive $322b investment by 2015

By WEI TIAN ( Updated: 2013-01-11 17:35

China's future "smart cities" will be a main driver of its urbanization process, with 2 trillion yuan ($322 billion) set to be devoted to more than 600 cities nationwide.

According to the research department of the State Information Center, a total of 154 cities have come up with plans to build a smart city, which in turn are expected to drive 1.1 trillion yuan investment, with a early-stage investment in their infrastructures expected to cost 500 billion yuan.

The center highlighted Chongqing as the latest to announce its plans. The city's administrators said during a recent meeting they will integrate technologies such as Cloud Computing and Internet of Things into its future development.

A city is defined as smart when investments fuel sustainable economic development and a high quality of life, accompanied by a wise management of natural resources.

The government estimates there will be 600 to 800 smart city projects announced during the 12th Five-year Plan (2011-15).

However, some analyst doubt the feasibility of such a scale of investment, calling instead for gradual expansion from pilot areas to other cities.

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