Partnering China on 'smart cities' of the future

Partnering China on 'smart cities' of the future


The University of Salford is to act as a technical consultant on an ambitious plan to create China’s newest ‘smart city’.


Experts at the School of the Built Environment will work with engineers and technicians in the southern city of Haimen which aims to transform a 10sq km area into a smart urban area to meet future economic, social and environmental needs.

With the UN predicting that 66% of the population will live in urban areas by 2020, policy makers are turning to ‘smart cities’, which are harnessing digital and telecommunication technologies for the benefit of inhabitants and businesses.

Manchester has already seen the beginnings of smart city planning with integrated transport and digital telecommunications invested in the Oxford Road ‘Corridor’ and elsewhere.


The University, in partnership with Salford City Council, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Haimen City and the Chinese Academy of Built Environment Research to provide technical ‘knowledge transfer’ on the master-planning of the project.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor Nigel Mellors travelled to Haimen City in December with the Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart.

Professor Hisham Elkadi, Dean of School said: “We are delighted to partner the Chinese Academy of Building Research to achieve the ambitious plans for Haimen City to create one of the newest smart cities.

“Smart Cities is one of the big ideas for the future and one we, here at Salford are very much at the forefront of.”


Professor Elkadi himself has substantial experience of planning Smart Cities in Australia and later this year – in April – hosts a conference at MediaCityUK titled The Future of Smart Cities.

One of the advantages of ‘smart’ planning is that it integrates infrastructure - energy systems, water and drainage, transport, telecoms and environmental protection, leading to efficiencies for government and business, lower pollution and more effective public services.

See our video on smart cities research at the School of the Built Environment at the University of Salford.