Chinese and Italian academics share their views on smart cities



Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences Forum.

Smart cities should of course have smart technologies, but it is essential that new technologies are human-centered, according to participants from Italy and China at a recent forum hosted by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, with the full support of the elite Italian school Politcnico di Torino. .

“A modern city can be facilitated by many new technologies, but it must be aware of bigger issues such as climate change and data privacy,” said Michele Geraci, professor at the University of Nottingham Ningbo and former sub -Secretary of State at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development.

In his view, climate change is not a matter of geopolitics, but how nature can be transformed by modern city life and how it should be restored by the joint efforts of all cities and governments.

Guo Changgang, director of the SASS Institute of History, said Shanghai has become a model for smart cities because it has used many fascinating technologies to boost its economy and governance.

“We need to deploy these new technologies in building a more friendly and constructive urban culture,” Guo said.

According to the China Green and Smart City Development Report (2021), Shanghai ranks third among Chinese cities for the quality of its green and smart urban development, after Beijing and Shenzhen in Guangdong province.

The report assessed cities on factors such as per capita GDP consumption, number of polluting businesses, waste treatment services, online government services, and smart transport constructions.

At the forum, Guo introduced some of the rapidly urbanizing areas in China, but said that they are not really high-quality cities, because “a real smart city is not only equipped with new technologies.”

The forum invited Alessandro Arduino, co-director of the Sino-Italy Security and Crisis Management project who joined the online meeting, to talk about the role of the digital silk road in the new smart cities. In addition, Antonino Marciano, professor of physics at the University of Fudan, explained how to use the time crystal in architecture for a better city.

The forum was co-hosted by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences Think Tank Foundation.


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