Directors’ Symposium 2018 - The 21st Century Director


Directors' Symposium 2018

Big Data and Cities

Big Data has become an important concern for directors. Dr Winnie Tang, Founder and Honorary President of Smart City Consortium, gave an interesting discussion on the use of open data in transforming city life, with Hong Kong as a case study. She discussed the Hong Kong Smart City Blueprint, which was released on 15 December 2017, emphasising that "Smart City is people centric".

Dr Tang highlighted that the Hong Kong Smart City Blueprint relies on the use of Open Data, including both public and private data in Application Programming Interfaces (API) which are the set of routines, protocols and tools for building software applications that we use on a daily basis. She pointed to many aspects of society that would be transformed to facilitate smart city services. They include finance, banking and city infrastructure, eg the use of Smart Lampposts to collect real-time city data, the implementation of eID – electronic identity. However, Open Data is still a very new concept, and is not well regulated in Hong Kong. Dr Tang pointed out that to cultivate innovation in smart city technology, there should be more legislation on Open Data, referencing other jurisdictions such as Singapore, Japan, Dubai, New York and Australia With Open Data legislation in place. Moreover, Los Angeles has developed common data spatial data infrastructure to share data such as sanitation levels on streets, while the UK has plans to establish a Geospatial Commission to facilitate interdepartmental collaboration on strategies to improve the collection and access of geospatial data. Hong Kong needs to catch up if it wants to continue to be competitive in our changing world, commented Dr Tang.