Date
22 October 2019
Data sharing among government departments is the first step to form a responsive, data-driven government. Photo: Freepik
Data sharing among government departments is the first step to form a responsive, data-driven government. Photo: Freepik

Government has to become smart to build a smart city

After nearly eight months of preparation, my new book Responsive City will be published soon. The publishing house asked me to invite a well-respected figure to write the preface for the book. I thought Wu Hequan, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, was the most suitable candidate, and fortunately, he promptly accepted my request.

Let me share some of his thoughts.

The data revolution does not only provide a method for analyzing data, but also expands the sources of information. It has changed our lives in many ways. A data-driven decision-making system would transform how local governments manage a city.

A smart government is essential to building a smart city. Good leadership knows how to get civil servants to work based on data, and to shift their focus from compliance with rules to tackling problems.

Data sharing among government departments is the first step to form a responsive, data-driven government.

Sharing does not mean complete transparency. Instead, it refers to the formation of a mechanism that can effectively protect data while allowing valuable information and knowledge to circulate.

Stringent data protection is necessary to mitigate concerns on data security and privacy.

The ultimate goal of building a smart city is to make life easier for the citizens.

Opening data access will end the government’s information monopoly. A smart government will also earn more respect from citizens.

Media reports last week were questioning whether the Hong Kong government has done enough to open its data.

However, I think the more important question is how the government can take the lead in the transformation process.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Jan 9

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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RT/CG

Venture Partner of Sequoia Capital China, former head of the data committee and vice president at Alibaba Group.