The head of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Information and Communication said the city was in the process of setting up an e-government that would play a critical role in building a "smart" city through information and communication technology (ICT).

Le Thai Hy said the smart city would improve residents' quality of life by efficiently managing traffic, power, healthcare and environmental systems, including waste treatment.

Hy spoke at a conference on smart cities held in HCM City this week organised by the department and Sao Bac Dau Technologies Corporation.

"It is very important that the people's benefits should be considered first in building a smart city," he said.

He said local agencies should work with enterprises to define solutions that need to be carried out first.

A detailed roadmap for implementation needs to be created as well, he said.

Smart technologies will help the city reduce traffic jams, environmental pollution and other issues.

In smart traffic management, for example, sensors and cameras help collect real-time information about traffic density on city roads.

The information is transmitted to the management system of transport operating agencies, which can then intervene quickly if accidents or congestion occur.

Sensor data is also used in the management of waste treatment and power.

Nguyen Viet Thang, vice president of sales at Sao Bac Dau Technologies, said that smart city development had become popular worldwide.

India, for example, aims to build 100 smart cities throughout the country by 2020, he said, adding that Korea already has Songdo smart city.

"Good infrastructure and residents' awareness are also vital elements in developing a smart city," Thang said.-VNA