Home China teams up with HSBC, Arup to launch smart cities hub

China teams up with HSBC, Arup to launch smart cities hub

A partnership including global bank HSBC launched a UK-China development and investment hub focused on fostering smart cities. The banking giant teamed up with the China Centre for Urban Development and engineering firm Arup Group in the initiative.

The UK-China Smart City initiative will allow private companies to work with the Chinese government on challenges stemming from rapidly growing cities around the country.

“Tireless collaboration between national and municipal governments, and between the public and private sectors, is needed to address the challenges arising from rapidly growing cities and society’s requirements for low-carbon infrastructure,” said HSBC Group Chairman Douglas Flint.

“This new initiative will enable municipal authorities and businesses in both the UK and China to work more closely together to develop smart cities which meet our economic, environmental and social objectives,” added Flint.

In a previous study by Arup researchers determined that the global smart cities market could grow to $408 billion by the year 2020. And China’s economy was identified as a major driver of growth in the global smart cities market.

The launch of the new smart cities platform follows China’s heightened interest in smart cities, as highlighted in its recent five-year plans, where the sector was earmarked for government support.

China has big smart cities plans in next five years

During its 13th five-year plan that covers 2016 to 2020, China has committed $72 billion for smart city projects around the country.

“The establishment of a ’hub’ to address issues around project scope and financing will help cities enormously in their efforts to address issues around traffic management, air quality, climate change, citizen engagement and economic development,” said Arup’s Volker Buscher.

He adds that strong international relations between China and the U.K. provide “a unique opportunity to address, in a very proactive and collaborative way, some of the challenges around smart cities.”

Recently China flagged northern city Yinchuan as a blueprint “smart city” for all the urban metropolises across China.  With a population of 1.5 million people, Yinchuan was chosen because of its relatively manageable size compared to huge metropolises like Beijing and Shanghai.

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