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Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development boosts Pilot Program for Smart Cities
The Working Meeting of Pilot Program for National Smart Cities was held in Beijing on Jan. 29, 2013, which was organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD). During the meeting, the first group of pilot cities was announced. Applied by local cities, primarily examined by the provincial housing and urban-rural development departments, and integrally assessed by relevant experts, there were 90 cities selected as the first group, which included 37 prefecture-level cities, 50 districts or counties, and 3 towns, covering Dongcheng District of Beijing City, Wuxi City of Jiangsu Province, Shijiazhuang City of Hebei Province, Wenzhou City of Zhejiang Province, etc. The pilot cities should finish smart city construction within three to five years, and then evaluated by relevant departments, and rated from one to three stars from low to high according to their performance.

At the meeting, the MOHURD signed the Agreement on Jointly Boosting the Construction of Smart Cities with the representatives of these cities and their upper level governments. In the next three years, the investment on the development of smart cities by the MOHURD and the China Development Bank will reach 80 billion, and the selection, investigation and loan on the pilot cities will be carried out at the same time.

Baoxing QIU, Minister of the MOHURD said that the development of smart cities was a specific program for the implementation of urbanization strategies made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, which was also the new requirement for the expansion of domestic demands, the launch of investments, as well as the industrial promotion and transformation. The pilot cities and their provinces should effectively and practically carry out the construction work based on the documents issued by the MOHURD, including the Provisional Regulations on Administration on Pilot Cities of National Smart Cities and the Index System of Pilot Cities of National Smart Cities (draft). The housing and urban-rural development departments should strengthen the organization, coordination, supervision and examination during the development of smart cities.

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