Wanxiang Innova City (Hangzhou - China)

Case Study

Wanxiang Innova City (Hangzhou - China)

Wanxiang is working on the construction of a mega-city called Innova City. It will be built from scratch on the river bank in Hangzhou, capital of the Zhejiang Province, which is adjacent to Shangai. Hangzhou is the upcoming Tier 1 city in China, and it is also the city of choice for a lot of companies to locate their headquarters. Hangzhou, like Shangai, is divided in two parts by the river Qiantang. The old town is located north of the river, and the new town is located south of the river. In the future, if one looks at the centre of the inner ring of Hangzhou, at the heart of Greater Hangzhou Bay Area, that is where Innova City is going to be built. Along the river, adjacent to the Asian Games and the G20 facilities. With about 10 square kilometres, and a residential population of 90,000, this will be a mixed-use smart city with three main areas. One will be focused on ecologically friendly smart manufacturing. The second area will be a global forward-looking research and development zone, where they are in the process of building two leading edge research institutes. At its core, one will have research centres and labs to work on areas like renewable energies, smart cities, industrial internet, and advanced manufacturing. This will be the brain of the high value-added industry. In the third area, an ambitious smart city residential zone will be built. The area of this zone will be about 1,100 acres, and 45% of the surface area will be green. Facilities for interactive exchange will also be built. Wanxiang Group and the local government will co-operate the city in partnership.

Innova City is dedicated to new energies and smart city innovations, and it will be the main theatre for the deployment of blockchain application scenarios. Wanxiang Group plans to invest 28 Billion US dollars over the next 7 years in this ambitious project.

The city’s development will be done in three dimensions. The first one is physical infrastructure (buildings), the second one is data infrastructure, and the third one is communication infrastructure. Buildings will require a huge number of smart features to be built into them. The piping infrastructure will integrate an extensive low-maintenance sensor network, to allow easy implementation of a data layer on top of it. From the beginning, the whole process will be conducted in co-development with leading universities and agencies around the world. Conceived in partnership with a leading US University, Innova City will have a Behaviour Economics Lab, which will help to address the social and psychological aspects of the urban planning and development of the city's infrastructure: the foot paths, the location of the greenery, the types of trees that will be planted, etc.

In 2018, an international competition for forward-looking ideas for smart city development, in a holistic perspective that covers various aspects. In the meanwhile, construction of the smart factory side might begin.

Sources:

Interview with Vincent Y. Wang from Wanxiang Group at the Smart City Expo World Congress Barcelona 2017.

Case study city(ies)
Case study country(ies)
Objectives

Improved Energy management;

Improved Intelligent Transport Systems;

Improved supports for business.

 

Description of the specific objectives:

The goal is to build a smart city where 90,000 people will study, research, work, and reside in an environment-friendly settlement. Unlike a traditional city, where new technology is added incrementally, at Innova City cutting edge technology will be embedded in the fabric of its physical and data infrastructure from the beginning, enabling bolder innovations and ground-breaking experimentation. Innova City is to be the first digitalized city running on a secure and versatile cloud infrastructure enabled by blockchain. Incorporating Artificial Intelligence, IoT and cognitive computing on the edge, Innova City aims to pioneer the next stage of urban intelligence that provides smart services, smart residence, and smart transportation, and covers the full life-cycle of research, incubation, conversion, production, and operation.

Actors

Wanxiang Group; Hangzhou municipal government.

Challenges

- Ensuring responsible data management (the ethical aspect of the co-operation of the city by a corporate group and the local government has to be considered);

- Maintaining complex IT infrastructures and safeguarding the integrity of procedures in case of malfunctions;

- Opening data to allow full access to application development, while preventing from hacking;

- Creating a local and scalable trust economy.

Solutions deployed

Blockchain network; cloud computing; big data; IoT; Artificial Intelligence; smart services; smart residence; smart transportation.

Activities

The Wanxiang Group launched a Global Blockchain Challenge to obtain the best blockchain application scenarios for Innova City in five categories: a distributed dispatch mechanism for power grid infrastructures, a distributed energy trading system, a hardware solution supporting high-performance blockchain application, an exchange platform for intellectual properties in technology, and a full life-cycle management system for batteries based on blockchain technology. Future applications that will be created include a sharing economy model for vehicle use (residents’ identification and the identification of the Electric Vehicles will be recorded on a common ledger), tracking and recycling of battery assets for EV and energy storage, smart factory floor management, V2V and V2I communication in smart transportation, and smart community services.

Results and Impacts

- Better air quality;

- Improved quality of life;

- Decrease in CO2 emissions;

- Fast and convenient public service delivery.