Living with Innovative Technologies and Building a Smart City

Youth I.D.E.A.S. 34

Education and Innovation

Living with Innovative Technologies and Building a Smart City

26 September, 2018



Innovative technology (IT) is a driving force in worldwide economic development. As society continues to advance, application of IT in life is becoming more common, and of greater importance. For example, the invention of smartphone and electronic payment methods has brought huge change and increased convenience in daily life.


As ‘smart’ is increasingly replaced by ‘advanced’ in describing a society’s technological level, the term ‘Smart City’ has been used to describe ‘a city that widely applies IT in human life and society’ and has become a new development for many world-class cities. Singapore, for example, has launched a project called ‘Smart Nation’ aiming to stimulate economic development and raise the living standard of citizens[1] via technological reform and digitalization.


Following the global trend, the HKSAR government initiated the development of Hong Kong as a Smart City several years ago. Last year, the Innovation and Technology Bureau published the ‘Hong Kong Smart City Blueprint’. Focusing on ‘making use of IT to address urban challenges’, the Blueprint proposed six area headings[2] in pursuit of ‘embracing IT to build a world-famed Smart Hong Kong’.


To popularize the application of IT in daily life and to enable Hong Kong to develop into a Smart City, a thorough understanding and full support of IT is essential amongst its citizens, especially young people who are the major ‘users’. Therefore, it is necessary to understand how young people understand and perceive IT and the Smart City and what affects their willingness to apply IT in daily life.



  1. Young people’s understanding of ‘innovative technology’ was unclear. Most of their IT use was concentrated in entertainment, social networking and financial management. Also, they were inactive in increasing IT usage in daily life.
  2. ‘Convenience’, ‘cost’ and ‘security’ were important factors affecting young people’s willingness to adopt IT.
  3. A lack of proper strategies to help the implementation of IT, outdated ordinance and slow or incomplete data opening work were seen as the major challenges for IT uptake in Hong Kong.
  4. Increased application of IT in the daily life of its citizens is key to Hong Kong becoming a Smart City. However, the majority of young people were not familiar with the concept and measures of the Smart City, which hinders its development.
  5. Both the experts and young people interviewed perceived the development of Hong Kong as a Smart City to be important and necessary. However, they were concerned as to whether the government could balance out the benefits and drawbacks for different stakeholders during the process.
  6. To popularize ‘applying IT in life’ and to facilitate Hong Kong’s Smart City development, the participation and collaboration of its citizens is essential.



  1. Support for non-governmental organizations to offer trans-border exchange activities, facilitating exchange of ideas among young people from different regions.
  2. Strengthen common technology education and increase citizens’ knowledge of IT-related concepts to help citizens understand the benefits and value of applying IT in daily life.
  3. Set up key performance indicators (KIP) and expected outcomes for each of the proposed measures in the ‘Hong Kong Smart City Blueprint’.
  4. Conduct regular surveys to explore citizens’ technological needs and expectations to ensure governmental measures are in line with citizens’ requirements.
  5. Adopt locally invented IT items in government services to facilitate implementation of IT.
  6. Review and reform outdated ordinances to provide more opportunities for testing and implementation of IT in Hong Kong.
  7. Speed up the process of opening geospatial data, ensuring the opened data are of good quality.






[1] ‘Smart Nation is about transforming Singapore through technology. We envision a Smart Nation that is a leading economy powered by digital innovation, and a world-class city with a Government that gives our citizens the best home possible and responds to their different and changing needs’. Smart Nation and Digital Government Office. (2018). ‘Why Smart Nation’. Retrieved September 19, 2018 from

[2] Including Smart Mobility, Smart Living, Smart Environment, Smart People, Smart Government and Smart Economy.