HCMC to accelerate smart city projects

The fourth outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Ho Chi Minh City last year not only posed tough challenges to all residents but also sped up digital transformation and smart city establishment here.

The projects of digital transformation and smart city development in HCMC has reaped certain rewards.

Thanks to successful digital transformation, the Covid-19 prevention and control tasks in the city have been carried out more quickly and effectively. The Covid-19 Safety Information System of HCMC is able to issue QR codes for people citywide, and the digital Covid-19 map timely updates necessary information for public access. The hotline 1022 has been expanded to offer 7 functions of public healthcare consultations to fight against Covid-19 and feedback receipt as to pandemic prevention tasks (with over 80,000 calls being made each day).

HCMC excellently exploits its common database, containing big data for AI implementation in digital transformation in city operation and governance. At present, the HCMC Department of Information and Communications is cooperating with the HCMC Health Department to finish the medical record of each resident for the healthcare database, another important database besides the national population one.

Over 900 units of the municipal authorities have had their formal e-documents shared via a stable integration platform. The fields of traffic, healthcare, education and training, urban planning, environment, public security have owned useful applications to serve citizens as well as professional tasks.

HCMC is one of the localities with the highest number of residents using a smart phone, along with a 100 percent coverage of fiber optic network, broadband Internet, and 3G/4G mobile network. Last year, it stood at the fifth position in the Province-level Digital Transformation Index.

Based on those achievements, HCMC People’s Committee has introduced the Digital Transformation Plan and Smart City Project for 2022, focusing on major missions to boost the growth of digital infrastructure, platforms, economy, society, and government:

_As to re-organizing the steering mechanism forming basic leveraged policies, the city needs to unify current steering committees on digital transformation, smart city establishment, e-government development into one, chaired by HCMC People’s Committee Chairman.

_The City will concentrate on develop its digital government, especially in the fields of administrative reform, public service provision for the convenience of citizens and businesses. In 2022, all level-4 public services will be offered online. All members in the priority group of healthcare, education, transport, natural resources and environment, architecture and planning, construction have to carry out 1-2 important digital transformation goals aiming at serving the public and businesses.

_Necessary data in the whole city will be integrated, while the common database will continue to be developed. Professional databases must be built in observation of the common technical standards. Open data are encouraged for citizens and businesses to access for the creation of an ecosystem for high-value utilities products, an environment to promote innovation and startup activities on open-oriented technology platforms.

_An AI research ecosystem must be built from proper investment to make HCMC the national leader in the field. The city will pilot the use of AI research results from universities like IT University – VNU-HCMC and research institutes into real life to create a virtual assistant for needy state units. Students in universities, colleges, and high schools are encouraged to learn and exchanged knowledge on AI.

_To develop a digital economy, HCMC will continue to promote e-commerce, online payment, and new payment methods such as Mobile Money. It will also collaborate with major technological corporations to provide support for small and medium enterprises in their digital transformation process.

_The Covid-19 Safety Information System will continue to work in order to control the current situation in the city, deliver timely warnings for localities, and support state units in monitoring people entering Vietnam. Both the digital Covid-19 map and hotline 1022 will be upgraded.

The smart traffic monitoring system helps to address urban issues more effectively. (Photo: SGGP)

Among the to-be-launched products this year to serve citizens is an integrated portal for communication between citizens and the municipal authorities.

Based on the upgrade of the hotline 1022, the HCMC Department of Information and Communications will integrate services provided by state agencies in the city in one mobile app and one website address. Document handling processes of state officials will be public and transparent.

The digital Covid-19 map will be further developed into a common digital map of HCMC, providing digital addresses to help associate geographical locations with corresponding projects, houses, locations to serve delivery needs and logistics infrastructure growth. It will be the foundation for the integration of specialized map layers. On this useful digital map, citizens can exploit such functions as information or location search, traffic / public security / social / economic status updates.

Via a platform to collect information from social networks, to analyze big data, and to implement AI, citizen feelings, concerns, and opinions will be heard so that the municipal authorities can adopt appropriate solutions or adjust current ones to satisfy the public needs. Fake news will be promptly pinpointed and strictly handled.

Thanks to the determination proper directions from the city leaders, the Digital Transformation Plan and Smart City Project for 2022 of HCMC will continue to obtain new achievements, contributing to turning the city into a smarter place worth living and boosting the sustainable growth of the city economy.

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