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“Turning An Ancient Culture Capital Into A Smart City”: Tainan Enters Top7 Intelligent Communities List


On the evening of February 8, the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) announced that Tainan city, with the theme “Turning An Ancient Culture Capital Into A Smart City”, has been selected as one of the 2018 Top7 Intelligent Communities.
When Premier William Lai served as Tainan City Mayor, he was very supportive of the various plans related to smart city development. When he learned that Tainan was selected as one of the 2018 Top7 Intelligent Communities, he also expressed his joy and blessings. Acting Mayor Li Men-yen remarked that “leveraging technology to transform our historical city” has always been Tainan City Government’s intention. The city government aims to establish an innovative business model that is people-oriented and uniquely local, to show how Tainan leverages technology to solve city development problems, and to realize the vision of providing the public better access to digital technology and services. 
In the news article covering the Top7 announcement by ICF, it wrote that Tainan city is the historical capital of Taiwan and its centuries-old cultural legacies are important assets which stimulate local tourism development. In addition to having a rich ancient history, Tainan also has much development in new technological areas including optoelectronics, integrated circuits, green energy, and bio-tech; and many businesses which specialize in these areas have already entered the Science Park site. The new technological industries and the existing traditional manufacturing industries jointly generate over half of Tainan’s economic value.
In terms of internet access, Tainan city’s broadband coverage has already reached 95%. The city is also in the process of transforming into an innovative Beacon city and aims to install 20,000 beacons in the future. Currently Tainan offers apps such as “Alley X Tainan”, “Guide to Historical Sites in Tainan”, and “VZ TAIWAN Smart Tourism” which provide visitors with information about restaurants, shopping, transportation, local anecdotes, and historical and cultural stories.   
Tainan City Government is dedicated to promoting green energy and environmental protection. The city is an ideal location for solar energy generation and technology development since its annual average sunshine amount is 25% higher than the national average. Green energy industries flourish in the city. Currently Tainan has 161 green energy businesses, 61 of which are solar power supply firms . 
Shalun Green Energy Science City, one of the major national infrastructure projects, will become the heart of green energy development in southern Taiwan. The Science City links green energy D&R, technology, professionals, and financing together and serves as a green industry and economy development platform that will transform Tainan into a smart, low carbon ecological city. 
Moreover, Tainan City Government teamed up with Geosat Aerospace & Technology Inc., Southern Taiwan Science Park Bureau, Ministry of Science and Technology, National Cheng Kung University, and Taiwan AI Labs to carry out a smart city project which employs AI to fly drones in Tainan. This collaboration between the academia and public and private sectors looks into combining AI computing technology with camera drones and deploying them to assist in activities such as historical site maintenance, tourist services, environment and traffic monitoring. The city government hopes to introduce cutting-edge technology into this historical culture city, present world-class applications of AI, and cultivate a new wave of local AI application startups in Taiwan. 
In terms of transportation, Tainan city has 400 buses in service and nearly a thousand smart bus stop displays in place which encourages bus service providers to offer value-added services through the “Tainan Bus” app. To date bus transport capacity has increased 49%, and the total bus trips taken by passengers have increased 20.5 million trips since 2010 after the Merger. 
Tainan City Government leverages smart technology to introduce new modern elements into an old historical city and has been actively rolling out smart city infrastructure projects recently. Starting from 2015, the city government launched the 4G smart city project. It also works with industries and the academia to plan out a smart city operation center and other smart technology applications in the city, including real-time flood control and prevention systems, comprehensive smart traffic systems, open mobile learning, smart community healthcare, smart traveling and living, and the “New Farmer” brand industry upgrade. These applications are planned with the goal to provide smart services to the residents and stimulate local industry upgrade and sustainability.
Established by NGO World Teleport Association (WTA) and with its headquarters located in New York, USA, the Intelligent Community Forum mainly focuses on studying economies based on broadband infrastructure which encourage international cooperation, create job opportunities, and stimulate economic development. Every year ICF presents awards to Intelligent Communities worldwide that are selected through a three-stage process. Tainan city was listed as one of the Smart21 last year, and selected as one of the Top 7 this year.
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