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Sharing Taipei City’s Experience with Digital Transformation: Mayor Ko Wen-Je Attends Financial Times Future Cities Forum

Opening speech by Mayor Ko Wen-jeKeynote speech by Deputy Mayor of Taipei City Vivian Huang on the citizen-centric digital transformation process
On January 26, 2022, Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je attended the Future Cities Briefing Taipei online forum jointly held by the Financial Times and Siemens. Mayor Ko made an opening speech entitled “City 4.0: Bold Strategies for Expediting City Development.” Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang delivered a keynote speech on the citizen-centric digital transformation process. In addition, Tom Tai-chu Chou, the commissioner of the Department of Civil Servant Development and Mayor’s Office for External Affairs, gave a brief introduction of the application of smart city strategies in Taipei. 

For more than a year, COVID-19 has affected global economics and society, prompting governments and enterprises worldwide to consider technological development and digital transformation. Mayor Ko described how, since 2016, Taipei City has considered the government as the foundation of a smart city and the city as a living lab. To achieve smart governance, seven key fields have been developed, namely smart architecture, smart transportation, smart education, smart health, smart security, smart environment, and smart economics, thereby creating an ecology in which the government, citizens, and industry can thrive. The Taipei City government detailed its first-hand experience fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in an enhanced version of Industry Digital Transformation Policy White Book 2.0. The policy book describes the city government’s goals of using big data, industrial transformation counseling, digital talent training, the home economy, and zero-contact services to create a fully functioning digital urban system. 

In her keynote speech, Deputy Mayor Huang emphasized that the highly skilled professionals, strong information and communications industry, and solid infrastructure of Taipei City are its greatest assets for creating a smart city. The public sector supports venues, the private sector provides solutions to create top-down and bottom-up synergy, and both collaborate to empirically evaluate outcomes. In addition, the Neihu Smart Park 5G test project, smart buses, intersection image monitoring system, and disinfection transport robots are perfect examples of the city’s citizen-oriented industry–academia collaborative research efforts. 

During the forum, Commissioner Chou introduced Taipei City’s big data panel and real-name registration applications to combat the pandemic. The response at the forum was impressive; the participants expressed strong interest, posed questions, and offered suggestions related to digital finance, digital governance, open government, civil participation, and information security to understand Taipei City’s concrete strategies.

Several international organizations have acknowledged Taipei City’s strong performance as a smart city. Taipei ranked fourth in the Smart City Index 2021, published by International Institute for Management Development. The big data pandemic survey project conducted by Taipei’s Department of Information Technology and the Taipei CooC Cloud project conducted by the Department of Education both won 2021 World Information Technology and Service Alliance Information and Communications Technology Excellence Awards. Thus, the city’s innovative public–private collaboration model has been acknowledged as a highly effective strategy. The Taipei City government will continue to collaborate with citizens to create a livable and sustainable city.