Great cities of the world have already taken their first steps towards a new era of development. Since 1990s when information and communication technology underwent a revolutionary boom, ordinary cities were turning into smart ones, but from 2010 onwards the smart cities are becoming intelligent ones.
Residents of any city must live in an apartment with access to water, sewage and electricity, public transport service of the city must be adequate and prompt, its green areas must be able to clean the city’s air and the city must have adequate infrastructure to support all these conditions for the secure and comfortable living and working of its population and this is called a solid infrastructure.
The people from rural provinces can move to the city and become a resident of the city easily. It is getting more problematic and troublesome to provide downtown ger districts of Ulaanbaatar City with proper facilities.
If you look at UB city with a focus on its infrastructure, Ulaanbaatar is not yet an ordinary city. The quality of living and productivity of the city’s residents depends not only on solid (tangible property) infrastructure but also on infrastructure of information and communications technology.
A city that managed to computerize all data related to the city, its business and services are called a smart city. In a smart city, the people receive most of the services and make all payments by means of gadgets such as a phone or a computer). Residents of Seoul City pay all their fees and charges and purchase payments just using their mobile phones.
In such cities, payments such as road fees and public transport charges are made using electronic gadgets, which saves much time and paperwork. It is enough to sit in a taxi with a GPS device to know how all the information is computerized in a smart city.
After entering your destination, the device will tell you how to reach the destination, your time of arrival at the destination and services available nearby.
Over recent period, smart cities are developing into intelligent cities, which mean that they develop into a specific area relying on their most competitive knowledge and advantages.
For instance, since Singapore City draws its drinking water from neighbors through piping, it is creating and building a unique infrastructure to catch, store and treat rain water for domestic use, which attracts great interest from many big cities around the world.
In order to become an intelligent city, Singapore seeks to become an specialized city to be an important node point in the global monetary and media systems.
As this country is nicknamed as ‘Asian Switzerland’ since they keep personal bank accounts in strict confidentiality and its banking and financial institutions strictly comply with all international principles and rules related, it has started to draw global offshore capitals like a magnet.
In February, Singapore opened a Mega polis Center and numerous firms are racing with each other to rent rooms equipped with the state of the art equipments and devices to create and transfer electronic products. It is emerging as world’s specialized cluster of animation industry.
Nearby this, two separate clusters of engineering and bio-treatment, Fusionpolis and Biopolis, are established and “Procter & Gamble” Corporation is injecting US$250 million to create its own World Center for New Initiative.
Ulaanbaatar City can start creating its infrastructure as an ordinary city in compliance with up to date requirements of modern city considering the above trends of urban development. For example, we could save considerable expenses and costs of we plan all new roads not with a drainage system only but with a system to collect and treat rainwater.
We should plan a totally new Ulaanbaatar, not for the interest of someone or some people, but for the welfare of all the city population and their coming generations, to join the world family of smart and intelligent cities.
Obviously, a lot of efforts and resources will be required in order to make Ulaanbaatar an intelligent city. We can use mineral income for this purpose, which would mean that we are managing to shift irrecoverable natural resources into the form of recoverable human resources.
This task should be carried out in coordination with the city’s taxation policy. All costs of cleaning the waste and treating sewage must be paid not by the government but by city residents. Only intelligent management can create and build an intelligent city. We, residents of Ulaanbaatar, want the city authorities to be smart if not intelligent.