When smart cities meet heritage preservation

Source: rics.org on December 8, 2016

As part of its smart city programme, China has created 400 smart cities and 20 “national smart city pilots”. The Chinese government reports on the status of the programme in annual white papers, however, these have shown that progress has slowed due to the absence of an overarching planning process and multiple, inconsistent standards.

We recently met with a high-level delegation from China’s Counsellors’ Office of the State Council (COSC) to discuss international standards for smart cities and their approach to the valuation and preservation of heritage sites and the areas that surround them.

Their aim is to accrue independent suggestions and eventually put these forward to The Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China and other leaders of the State Council.

Smart City Standards

The COSC want to reduce the existing 3,000 smart city-related standards down to just 50. This significantly reduced number of standards will be aligned with international standards under broad themes, such as technology, infrastructure, construction and management services.

The overall aim is to streamline bureaucracy and improve public services within a comprehensive programme to reform 116,000 standards touching all areas of the economy.

Architectural heritage

Counsellor Mr Xu Songling spoke about the challenges of preserving Chinese architectural heritage, much of which was in smaller regional towns that were falling out of favour as smart cities grow.

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