You don’t have to be a movie star or world-famous celebrity to be hooked on the street by strangers who want to take a picture with you. Just go to Yinchuan.
This city is not very popular among tourists, that’s, which is why European people really stand out on the street. Even a taxi driver might ask you for a selfie.
Going to the restaurant might be an adventure too. When you sit down at the table your appearance might attract other customers, so just a few minutes later they’ll be all around you. I hope you won’t feel distracted by the cameras which suddenly appear. You’re a star now. Behave 🙂
This exciting trip to Yinchuan could happen thanks to TM Forum, ZTEsoft and City of Yinchuan which organised a conference called “Smart City, Wonderful Life!”. They invited us to take part in this amazing experience which showed us how to make our lives easier and more comfortable.
Conferences are usually associated with some boring speech during a very long meeting when someone on the stage is talking a lot some stuff that you don’t even listen to. But not this time. It wasn’t boring at all.
The three-day meeting was full of great presentations, which were all about very interesting topics. None of the speakers talked about idea itself. Progress itself is not a value and doesn’t bring anything productive. Without the context and destination point – it can’t be good for people, so it’s simply pointless. Real progress and real innovation is fruitful when it’s focused on helping people. Modernity has to be subordinate to man and the world that we live in. But – subordinate in a smart way. We all know the “intelligent lighting system” on our crossroads. The idea of this system is brilliant, but when the implementation isn’t correct, instead of improving traffic we have more problems, more traffic jams and more irritated drivers (more mistakes = more accidents). The conclusion is simple: the idea itself might be very good, but it always has to be adapted to reality of specified community or country. Otherwise it’s more than ineffective.
Now, understand me well. This type of conference is neither a “mutual admiration circle“, nor a competition for “the most modern and smart idea”. This is the right time to talk about the most effective solutions in order to make them real and bring some value to human life.
The idea of “Smart City” brings two changes.
The first change is connected to the way the city functions: public transport, energetics, City Management Systems. Every country is different, so are cities: different climate, infrastructure, population. That makes us aware that each city needs their own original idea for yourself, sometimes unique on a world scale. Some solutions might not work well in some cities, but in thers they might just be perfect. I’ll give you an example.
Have you ever heard about “car sharing” or “shared cars”?
There is a certain city in Europe which has an enormous problem with parking spaces. That’s why someone proposed a program – half a car for one family. Yes. Half. It’s not a mistake. An average family should have half a car.
What about the other half? How am I going to get to work? Me, my husband/wife, adult children who still live with me? We all need cars to go to work!
The idea is quite simple. You pay a monthly fee for access to a different means of transportation via an application on your smartphone. The cheapest option is public transport: a bus, a tram, a train, a subway. The second level is more expensive- public transport and bikes. At the end, the most expensive option is access to everything mentioned before and cars. You can start the engine thanks to your application. The car is ecological, with an electric engine and cars are placed in special City Car Parks.
You want to go shopping. So you go to car park by bus/tran or simply on foot, because it’s near your home. You turn on the City Application, you choose a car option and one of the cars is unblocked. You get in, go shopping, then you pack your booty to the trunk, park near your house, take all the bags, leave them in the kitchen and then you drive back to the car park where you started the whole procedure. In the end it seems to be even cheaper than having a car on your own. Don’t have to fuel it up, don’t have to wash it – nothing. Just drive.
But I mentioned two changes. So what’s the other one?
My favorite – queues! I don’t know how does it look in your country, but in mine the queues in government offices are legendary. You’re going to one room, then another, then they tell you that you have to pay an obligatory fee so you go somewhere else, then you go upstairs, take a number you wait for your turn and a few hours later you come back to the very first room and they tell you to wait 4 weeks for decision. Lovely!
Smart City means the implementation of an idea “one document – one room – one day”. A very efficient computer network allows to get your paper work done just in one room without waiting weeks or months for a decision. You can even start your company. Of course, you still have to do all the neccessary stuff, but you don’t have to visit whole city hall to your dreams come true 🙂
And these are just two examples of the thing we learned in Yinchuan. If you’re interested in details and presentations from this conference, please click HERE.
This conference was a great opportunity to meet many amazing people from around the world whose their life mission is to find new solutions for our societies – something that will help us in our daily life. We are very grateful for the invitation. There where only five Polish delegates, so we feel quite honored. We did our best to gather the most valuable, innovative ideas and to get inspiration to carry on. Robert Kiyosaki once said: “If you want to go somewhere, it’s best to find someone who has already been there.” Well, we found them there. Time to act!
Pictures from China: