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LCQ11: Smart city development
     Following is a question by the Hon Yiu Si-wing and a written reply by the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Alfred Sit, in the Legislative Council today (August 18):
     The Government launched a three-year Multi-functional Smart Lampposts Pilot Scheme (Pilot Scheme) in 2019 to promote the development of Hong Kong into a smart city and support the construction of the fifth generation wireless network. Under the Pilot Scheme, the Government will install in phases some 400 smart lampposts in four districts across the territory with higher pedestrian and traffic flows. Regarding the development of Hong Kong into a smart city, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the latest progress and achievements of the Pilot Scheme, as well as the up-to-date total expenditure and the current balance of the funding concerned;
(2) whether it will expand the Pilot Scheme; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(3) whether it will continue to update the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong, and launch more facilitation measures to enable members of the public to better feel the benefits brought to their daily lives by Hong Kong being a smart city as well as innovation and technology; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
     Regarding the Hon Yiu's question, our reply is as follows:
(1) and (2) Under the Multi-functional Smart Lampposts Pilot Scheme (Pilot Scheme), some 400 multi-functional smart lampposts will be equipped in phases with smart devices in four selected urban locations in Central/Admiralty, Causeway Bay/Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui and Kwun Tong/Kai Tak Development Area to collect real-time city data such as meteorological data, air quality, traffic flow, etc. and support fifth generation (5G) mobile network development. 50 smart lampposts were installed in Kwun Tong and Kai Tak Development Area in mid-2019 for the first phase of the Pilot Scheme. Following the recommendations put forward by the Smart Lampposts Technical Advisory Ad Hoc Committee in March 2020, the Government has been adopting various measures to protect privacy, step up publicity and public engagement and explore privacy-friendly technology solutions.
     The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) launched a virtual exhibition themed "Smart Lampposts Light Up Future" in March 2021, which features a three-dimensional model of a smart lamppost and a virtual tour to showcase to the public the various smart devices and their applications, as well as the convenience they bring to our daily lives. The OGCIO and the Transport Department (TD) also actively explore the use of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to replace camera in detection of vehicle speeds and identification of different types of vehicles, and plan to conduct field tests on two smart lampposts at Kwun Tong District and Kowloon City District (Kai Tak Development Area) respectively.
     Besides, the OGCIO and the Highways Department are reviewing the proposed locations of the remaining 350 or so smart lampposts. According to actual circumstances, installation works will be implemented in phases with a view to completing them by mid-2023. The total estimated project expenditure for the Pilot Scheme is $272 million, covering the procurement and installation of smart lampposts and smart devices, management of smart devices and data transmission systems, telecommunications network connection facilities as well as ancillary road works. The Pilot Scheme is implemented in accordance with the Government's prevailing funding mechanism, with the costs met from the annual provision of Capital Works Reserve Fund block allocation Subhead 6100TX under Head 706 (Highways) and Subhead A007GX under Head 710 (Computerisation) having regard to the actual situations of different locations, implementation timetable and resources required for individual installation. The expenditure to date is around $21.51 million. We would determine the long-term development plans of smart lampposts after reviewing the effectiveness of the Pilot Scheme.
(3) The current-term Government is committed to developing Hong Kong into a smart city by leveraging innovation and technology (I&T) to enhance city management and improve people's livelihood. The Government published the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong (Blueprint) in December 2017, setting out 76 initiatives under six smart areas. Since the release of the Blueprint, various bureaux/departments (B/Ds) and related organisations have been taking steps to implement these initiatives, and take forward some new ones.
     To further promote smart city development, the Government released the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong 2.0 (Blueprint 2.0) in December 2020. The Blueprint 2.0 sets out over 130 smart city initiatives, including those under implementation or of an ongoing nature. Among them, over 60 new initiatives were launched after the Blueprint published in the end of 2017. Since the release of Blueprint 2.0, various B/Ds have been actively taking forward the initiatives. These include the launch of the new version of the "HKeMobility" mobile application by the TD in March 2021 to facilitate commuting and route planning by the public; the installation of Wi-Fi hotspots in more than 20 village premises by the OGCIO since April 2021 to facilitate network connection by villagers and tourists; and the establishment of the Geospatial Lab by the Development Bureau in May 2021 to encourage all sectors in the community to harness the use of spatial data to improve daily convenience and promote business opportunities, etc.
     B/Ds will continue to keep in view the latest development of smart city and I&T, and update development goals and initiatives as appropriate to allow the public to better perceive the benefits of smart city and I&T development in their daily lives. Members of the public can also learn about the progress of the smart city initiatives through the dedicated smart city portal (www.smartcity.gov.hk) and obtain the latest information via the real-time city dashboards. They can also submit their views and suggestions on different initiatives and topics via the portal and other channels.
Ends/Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Issued at HKT 11:32
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