The University of Tartu (UT) hosted a delegation from the Institute of Smart City of Shanghai University, who consider Estonian research in urbanization and urban development a role model. Together, Chinese and Estonian researchers are developing urban planning solutions, social innovation models and sensing systems.
According to Research Professor of Estonian Academy of Sciences Rein Ahas, who does his research at the Chair of Human Geography of the UT, the smart city concept is a rapidly developing research field in the world.
Ahas said that cooperation in the research and development of the smart city concept is useful and interesting for both sides - the researchers in small Estonia and the rapidly growing China - as urbanization, urban development and urban planning are important topics for both countries. “Both Estonia and China have expanding and diminishing cities and both societies have high expectations to the use of information and communication technology in solving urban problems and improving the quality of life.”
The “smartness” of developing the smart city and the smart society largely relies on social sciences – how to apply new technologies, materials and data to improve the quality of life. “To develop that, we need knowledge, strategies, urban planning solutions and business models,” Ahas said, adding that the smart city is one of the priority fields for the world’s leading technology companies in this decade.
Editor: S. Tambur