Wednesday, 22 May 2019
OPINION

Hanoi advised to first focus on key infrastructure as it heads for smart city

Updated at Sunday, 10 Feb 2019, 06:29
The Hanoitimes - Dr. Brian Hull, general director of ABB Vietnam, talks to Hanoitimes on Hanoi’s conditions to build a smart city and what the metropolis should focus on to speed up the plan.
How do you assess Hanoi’s readiness to turn itself into a smart city? What should the city focus on in the implementation of its smart city plan?

To answer this question, I think at first, we need to consider what a Hanoi citizen would expect when Hanoi becomes a smart city. Hanoi has been achieving good economic indicators recently and been contributing strongly to the country’s GDP. Hanoi’s population and middle class are rising. Urbanization is taking place in a very fast pace. So I think as Hanoi becomes a smart city, issues that arise from this rapid urbanization such as pollution, water supply, waste treatment, traffic jams, etc. must be resolved.
 
Brian Hull, general director of ABB Vietnam
Brian Hull, general director of ABB Vietnam
As the capital, Hanoi has favorable conditions to develop into a smart city. It attracts significant FDI; it acts as a cargo hub of the Northern provinces and is well placed to invest more into transport infrastructure; it has a young population and high level of internet penetration; this well qualified workforce has the potential for developing high-tech industries that do not require large areas of land and so are suitable for a compact city.

The foundation that is needed for any smart city is smart infrastructure. I think Hanoi should first focus on building the key enabling infrastructure - smart data centers, smart electricity and water networks, smart traffic management solutions, smart buildings to minimize environmental impact, electric vehicle chargers to reduce pollution.  All the above will help improve the lives of citizens and demonstrate the benefits of smart city living.

What role does smart grid play in the building of a smart city?

Smart grid is the key for a beneficial use of widespread energy resources. A smart grid helps balance electricity supply and demand in a sustainable, reliable, and economic manner. It is built on advanced infrastructure and tuned to facilitate system optimization. For example, it can handle a diverse source of electricity generation from multiple sources – rooftop solar on household or commercial buildings, can manage the fluctuating supply and demand sources, use storage solutions to ensure reliability and quality at optimal cost.

What could ABB Vietnam help Hanoi in realizing the city’s smart-city plan?

ABB is a global technology provider with strong local presence. With more than 25 year well established presence in Vietnam, we are keen to bring a wealth of experience in global deployments of similar nature in the following areas to support smart city development in Hanoi:

- Smart utilities: Our ABB smart technologies are at the heart of a city's critical infrastructure, supplying power and water safely and securely.

- Smart buildings: The homes for people and their office environments can take advantage of the latest in ABB Ability technology to ensure our cyber and physical security, while using intelligent solutions to minimize the energy needed to run such buildings.

- Emobility: ABB has long been at the forefront as a pioneering technology leader in the field of sustainable transportation. ABB has recently become title partner of Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class and is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. We are keen to support the country in the move towards a less carbon society and smarter mobility in Vietnam and in Hanoi in particular.

- Renewable energy: ABB supplies the entire value chain of renewable energy from solar, wind and hydro power. One technology that is starting to see rapid deployment now is rooftop solar using our leading edge inverter technology.

- Data center: ABB offers flexible, efficient and reliable data center solutions. Recently we have supplied our technologies in Ericsson’s global data center in Stockholm.

Thank you very much!
Anh Minh
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