Rapid growth, advanced technology to assist managers, smart sensors, new communications systems, and wanting to make a better place to live–this is Yinchuan, China.

As an urban center in a region that is less developed than other areas of China, Yinchuan is targeted for substantial growth in population. The city is dotted with residential high-rises under construction or ready for occupants. According to city officials, the population is growing at 1.6% annually, or about 48,000 new residents per year.

Managing population growth served as the driver to make advancement in the quality of life and citizen happiness.

At the recent Smart City InFocus conference, held in Yinchuan for the third consecutive year, much of the discussion was about technology: smart streetlights, Big Data, facial recognition, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, and any number of other cutting-edge devices and techniques.

But the ultimate goal of Smart City technology, proponents say, is to make cities better places to live. The most important Smart City metric should be citizen happiness, not some abstract measure of digitization or connectivity. Accomplishing that takes more than fancy technology – it also requires changes in policies and procedures.

Just as businesses are learning to prioritize customer experience as a competitive advantage, cities like Yinchuan are focusing on how citizens and businesses interact with City Hall.
The two following videos will give you a better sense of what’s happening there.

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