Professor Carl Chang delivered a keynote speech on Smart Cities at the APEC Smart City Industrial Technology Cooperation Forum. Smart Cities promise to bring about a new global economy that is worth billions of dollars. Industrial giants such as IBM, Siemens, Toshiba, ABB have all ironed out corporate strategies in this emerging business domain. There will be tremendous challenges to worldwide technologists as well as social and human engineering professionals to develop existing cities into smarter urban areas. In some countries the endeavor will also include creating new smart cities from scratch. China alone has set the development of smart cities a national priority and will invest more than 1 trillion RMB by 2015.
Professor Chang reviewed the development status of current smart city efforts in several Asia-Pacific cities summarized in eight concerns: sustainability, mobility, safety and security, e-Government, education, life and leisure, and advocacy. He also shared his worries to the audience along the line of "societal singularity" (or more commonly known as the social singularity). At the end of his talk, Professor Chang speculated technological challenges and advances that are integral part of the global pursuit of smart cities.