GUIYANG, China, May 26, 2017 /PRNewswire

'Smart Cities', driven by big data and cloud computing, can ensure fairness and inclusiveness in city development says the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) in its report "Smart Cities and Social Governance: Guide to Participatory Indicator Development" launched at the Sino-EU Forum for Smart Cities and Social Governance in Guiyang.

The Guide documents a year-long project in the Bihai and Huizhan Neighborhoods in Guiyang that engaged communities and expert stakeholders in developing a set of social governance indicators to assist local government in assessing its progress and increasing transparency for citizens in the provision of social services.

"This project shows how community voices can be included in public decision-making and at the same time community goals can be tracked and progress assessed by using high-tech platforms. In Guiyang we have piloted a participatory methodology which can be replicated in other neighborhoods and cities in China," noted Patrick Haverman, Deputy Country Director of UNDP China.

The guide highlights that 'smart cities' must be oriented towards meeting human needs, collecting and sharing information with high-tech support that contributes to achieving social and environmental sustainability and creating inclusive and liveable cities.

"Informatization needs fairness and inclusiveness, and be human-centered" said Zhong Mian, Vice Governor of Guizhou Province at the launch.

Local governments need to address increasingly complex challenges and emerging social issues, and implement effective and inclusive city governance with limited resources. Smart city development, driven by big data and cloud computing, has the potential to bring profound changes in the governance of urban society. At its best, it can produce innovative governance and new techniques and ideas for addressing urban problems by facilitating communication between residents and government and by providing better data so officials and other actors can make better, more timely decisions. In Guiyang, indicators such as housing affordability and availability, transportation availability, accessibility of healthcare and education, safety and environmental quality of over 850 communities are being tracked and data is mapped and will be available online for public access.

A smart city can contribute to achieving the goal of social and environmental sustainability and creating inclusive and liveable cities, by collecting and sharing information with high-tech support. But 'smart' approaches cannot do this alone. There must also be robust public engagement that ensures that all residents have a voice in the development of their city and in the direction and performance of their government.

"This collaboration shows the how multisectoral partnerships can improve city development," said Xu Ning, Chairman of Wing Cloud Big Data.

Source: UNDP China

Cover of the book "Smart Cities and Social Governance Guide to Participatory Indicator Development". Credit: UNDP

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