Super Smart City

Happier Society with Higher Quality

"Super Smart City – Happier Society with Higher Quality" is jointly authored by Deloitte Public Sector, TMT Industry and Deloitte Research. Globally, urbanization has varying impact on urban economy, resource utilization, life quality, time cost and sustainable development. The acceleration of urbanization and population growth bring increasingly severe challenges to city executives around the world. In order to address the challenges brought about by urbanization, China has made significant investment in building smart cities over the past decade. In this report, we delve into the new requirements and goals for “China’s construction of new-type smart cities” based on the development trends of smart city in the country.

Viewpoints / key findings

Topic 1: Global trends in smart city development

Europe and America are leading the world in terms of urbanization, thanks to their first mover advantages. While in Asia, specifically China, the government has been largely promoting urbanization strategy for years, which helps China achieve the highest urbanization growth rate globally and a vast space for development in the future.

  • As the gap keeps narrowing between China and the U.S. in urbanization level, more opportunities for future development can be derived from urbanization in China.
  • Driven by its new-type urbanization strategy, China has seen rapid urbanization with a compound annual growth rate over 1% in the past decade.
  • Asian countries/regions have higher urbanization growth rates than that of American countries, demonstrating a huge potential for growth.
  • Due to urbanization, Asia faces a gap in infrastructure investment amounting over USD2 trillion per year.


Topic 2: Super smart city of the future

The report predicts that traditional smart city will develop into super smart city in the future, which is upgraded from the former one and composed of six key elements covering six sectors. Super smart city features higher degree of integration, better collaboration and value maximization. 

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Topic 3: China super smart cities index

According to the report, super smart cities can be measured at four dimensions: firstly, there is long-term strategic planning in place; secondly, there is sufficient support from technology infrastructure; thirdly, it is smart enough both horizontally and vertically; fourthly, it is capable of sustainable innovation. Based on these dimensions, we conduct systematic analysis on 25 key cities to identify the development status of smart cities and determine the gap between these cities and super smart cities.

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  • The super smart cities index is designed to gain an overview of the current trends in smart city construction and the future development planning, and provide Deloitte’s global insights to guide cities for a shift of focus from infrastructure construction to the application level;
  • The report proposes that cities are not necessarily smart in its full sense. The local governments shall develop smart cities with their own characteristics based on their own needs, and by doing so to leverage smart city projects to facilitate economic and social development and build a happy society with high quality of life; 
  • In most of these 25 cities the construction of smart city infrastructure has been developing very fast, but there is still a lot of room for improvement;
  • It is worth noting that domestic smart cities score above average with well-developed technology infrastructure, but lag behind in innovation and strategic planning.


Topic 4: Lessons learned in developing super smart cities

The city executives, facing such many challenges, are required to jump out from the traditional perception of smart cities so as to transform them into super smart cities. The report lists 7 lessons learned in the construction of smart cities: 

  1. Super smart cities require effective overall strategic planning from top to bottom;
  2. Super smart cities shall not be mass replicated;
  3. Super smart cities shall not be restricted within certain models;
  4. Super smart cities shall not result in data isolation;
  5. Super smart cities shall respond proactively to data security;
  6. Super smart cities require the participation and cooperation of governments, businesses and the public;
  7. Super smart cities require sustainable innovation.

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