Quang Ninh: makeover begins for smart city hinh anh 1Van Don economic zone (Source: VNA)
Quang Ninh (VNA) – The northern coastal province of Quang Ninh will focus its resources on carrying out nine component projects under a blueprint to turn Ha Long city into a smart urban area by 2020.

According to Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long, nine projects under the “Building Smart City in Quang Ninh province” Master Plan will be carried out during 2017-2020, focusing on information and technology (IT) application and smart lighting system.

Ha Long city has been assigned to carry out four projects which are applying IT in managing smart passenger transport and enhancing tourism safety and security in Ha Long Bay, deploying IT in improving efficiency of the tourism sector, building smart lighting system in Ha Long city and using IT in urban management.

The Chairman requested that the provincial Department of Planning and Investment should accelerate the assessment of projects that have completed investment preparation and submit them to the provincial People’s Committee for approval before June 30, in order to timely allocate capital for the projects in 2018.

Meanwhile, the remaining projects should be evaluated and approved before July 30.

Investment for the smart city construction is mobilised from the provincial and city budget, enterprises and local residents.

Besides domestic consultants, the province has hired advisors from Australia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan (China), and Spain.

Joining the provincial efforts, Ha Long city has collaborated with relevant agencies and organisations to carry out comprehensive solutions to develop itself into a smart city. And things begin with branching out the “smart city” model in healthcare, education, e-government, transportation, finance-banking and tax sectors.

Along with asking the city’s bureau of taxation to modernize the local tax system, the city has ordered the installation of Point of Sale (POS) devices in all shops serving tourists. Shops are also required to us e-billing management software and sale software to facilitate tax examinations.

The city has discussed with a Romanian business delegation the study and installation of smart LED lighting system in 18 main streets to save energy while reducing CO2 emissions and maintenance costs. It is creating favourable conditions for the Romanian partner to conduct survey and implement the project.

In addition, the city is working with partners in creating software to manage tourism boats in Ha Long Bay and set up free wifi at local tourist attractions.

Reform of administrative procedures and development of e-government have also received due attention as well. Currently, more than 90 percent of the city’s directive documents are filed online and all of the administrative procedures within the city’s jurisdiction are handled at the public administrative centre.

According to Tran Quoc Thai, deputy director of Urban Development Department under the Ministry of Construction, smart cities must meet the criteria of planning, management and provision of smart and comfortable services that are supplied by the State or other economic sectors.

“The building of smart cities requires appropriate institutions on the basis of integrated planning and management, while developing standards for safety, security and social affairs.”, he said at a seminar titled “Developing Smart Cities in Vietnam towards Green and Sustainable Growth” recently organised by the  Vietnamese Ministry of Construction and Embassy of the Netherlands.

The Ministry of Information and Communication (MoIC) has been working with the Ministry of Construction to build a set of indicators for smart cities including mechanisms, policies and guidelines for their development, he noted.-VNA