Hong Kong urged to embrace Big Data

The densely populated and highly urbanised financial hub can squeeze sustainability into its tight spaces if it had one thing: Data.

There’s talk of a data revolution in Hong Kong. Writing in the South China Morning Post, Winnie Tang advises the densely populated financial and commercial hub to collect and disseminate spatial data that could improve urban life.

Tang, chairman of the Smart City Consortium Steering Committee, says that Hong Kong lags behind the U. S., Singapore and some European countries in this area. She views Big Data as essential to strategic planning and innovation. “A holistic approach would encourage more public engagement, which is essential in building a smart city,” she writes.

The Hong Kong government does gather and share some urban stats. But critics complain that agencies act independently and don’t regularly update the information. Another gripe is that the data is not available in a standard format suitable for app development.

Info that’s easy to access, visualise, map and manipulate is what Hong Kong needs, Tang says. An online portal launched by Los Angeles offers a model for the autonomous Chinese city. It features more than 500 real-time streams on everything from infrastructure and planning to health and safety. 

This story was published with permission from Citiscope, a nonprofit news outlet that covers innovations in cities around the world. More at Citiscope.org.

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