Yinchuan is one of China’s nearly 300 pilot smart city projects going on in the middle of the vast nation, which is a bustling city of two million people. At the first sight, the city appears far from a technological infrastructure due to its historic panorama, but it is far more advance than you would think.
On the local buses, a new face recognition system has replaced the fare box. Bus passengers can now pay their fare via face recognition. It is like a fingerprint to unlock your smart phone. Passengers’ faces are previously recorded into their bank accounts and people do not wait for change any more.
Public trash bins send out a signal when they are full, so garbage collectors know when to collect them. The bins run on solar panels and integrated compactors allow to increase the capacity five-fold. Connected system does not only store rubbish, but also use an air conditioning to disperse unpleasant odours.
The local government and the famous Chinese technology company ZTE signed a 5-year agreement to invest $500 million on smart city initiatives in 2014. Now, Yinchuan’s big data cloud platform is the brain of the smart city. It is able to store information about the city’s demography, economy, buildings, infrastructures, spatial geographic information and so forth. One of the outstanding results of this work was the establishment of Smart Government Service Center which transfers the administrative approval processes to a centralized examination and approval center. The process have handled more than 4 million matters with 100% completion on schedule for more than 400 administrative approval items.
Smart cities are viewed as one of the key strategies to promote industrialization, urbanization, innovation, economic growth and rapid development in China according to the National Development and Reform Commission. Although there are currently no laws and regulations directly governing Smart Cities in China, cities try to adopt new cutting-edge technologies in their regions and look for repeatable patterns to be applicable across the nation.