Kwai Tsing Container Port. Photo: Wikicommons.
By Peter Levesque
Under the leadership of Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Hong Kong is at last embracing tech and innovation to move our maturing economy up the value chain and remain competitive. This is a bold vision for a city that has historically thrived on trade and finance.
Recently, the American Chamber of Commerce launched its inaugural Smart City Conference, which highlighted the role of technology and design in enhancing Hong Kong’s position as a world-class city. It also underscored the critical role of human capital in bringing the government’s smart city initiative to fruition.
Tom Murphy, the former mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who was seminal in transforming his city from a dying steel producer into a research and development tech centre, gave a compelling keynote address at the conference.
He stressed the need for Hong Kong to tear down the conventional barriers to progress, and think differently to achieve transformative smart city development. “The challenge is for cities to be intentional about reaching the future, not to drift into it or be protective of the status quo”, he said.
The idea of a “smart city” covers a wide range of opportunities, but the essence is to merge advanced technology and infrastructure to improve the places and spaces where people live and work.
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Peter Levesque is the group managing director of Modern Terminals Limited and the 2014, 2015 chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce. He has lived and worked in Hong Kong since 1996