Making Life More Comfortable For Citizens

Release Date:2018-02-02  Author:Reporter: Meng Jingjing  Click:

From September 19 to 21 in 2017, Smart City InFocus took place in Yinchuan, China’s leading smart city. The event run by TM Forum in collaboration with Yinchuan and ZTE brought together over 800 C-level executives and government officials. On the second day of the event, ZTE Technologies interviewed Tibor Leleszi, Mayor of Kisvárda (Hungary). He shared with us his smart city aspirations.  

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What is the current status of smart cities in Hungary?
I come from Kisvárda, a small city in Hungary. There are ongoing studies on the subject of smart cities in Hungary. The first steps are evaluation and planning. I came here to learn more about the development of smart city solutions. 

How do you feel the technological scene is currently developing in Hungary? 
Regarding the technological scene I can say that the central government’s initiatives brought a breath of fresh air. I mean that the Broadband Internet program as part of the European Digital Agenda 2020 has set its targets until 2020, but the Hungarian Government made a very ambitious plan to reach that goal by the end of 2018. Based on the infrastructure, every home in Hungary can have a 30 Mbps internet access. There is a “Digital Welfare” program of the Government to support under-developed areas with low-price internet subscriptions thus giving an equal chance to all people of access to the knowledge that is offered by the proper web-content. There are also programs in their initial phase for e-health and e-education, but we have still plenty of tasks to do.

Why is it important to deploy a smart city in Kisvárda?
As Mayor of Kisvárda, it is the leading concept in my election campaign—to make Kisvárda more citizen-friendly. My first priority is to make the life of the citizens of Kisvárda more comfortable, more enjoyable in order to keep young and talented people in our city and to avoid their migration to Budapest or to other bigger cities.

Do you have a smart city strategy or plan in place?
Yesterday we saw a very complex solution to deal with almost all requirements of a city. In Kisvárda, we have already studied some segments, like e-health. But after seeing yesterday’s studies, I realized that we have to develop our solutions for more extensive needs and take a look at the questions in a bigger context. 

Can you paint us a big picture of your smart city? What are the important elements ?
In order to reach the aforementioned important goal, I see tasks in several areas. Our city is attracting 7000 students who are travelling every day to our city mainly by bus, causing traffic jams, frustration because of time loss and pollution. We have to develop a smart solution to eliminate this problem.
A well organized traffic is also a cost-factor for our industries. The largest poultry meat processing company of Hungary is working in our city. It is our elementary interest to serve all their needs to eliminate all barriers in front of their success.
A very important field is to take care of our senior citizens. We have already implemented one initiative. We have distributed health-check watches to several hundred seniors. They have learnt the usage of the watch with the help of volunteering students and now the watches can generate alarms if the important health-indicators reach a certain critical level. With the solutions we have learnt from ZTE, we plan to develop this system towards both prevention and  pro-activity. 
Another important field is tourism. Kisvárda has beautiful surroundings and now we are planning to construct a spa, a kayak-canoe facility for amateurs and professional athletes. Around these facilities I see plenty of possibilities, ideas that have to be evaluated together with local entrepreneurs in order to construct a complete eco-system for sustainable and profitable development. 

What challenges do you foresee in the transition to a smart city? 
The most critical task is to introduce change into the minds of the people because people sometimes have difficulty in adapting to changes. Yesterday’s presentation was useful in this context. It gave examples of how this difficulty can be overcome. If people feel that the changes serve the interests of the people, they will be more open to changes. 

What comments would you make on ZTE's smart city solutions?
We can learn from the company, which is very professional and open to transferring knowledge and technologies to us.

[Keywords] Smart City, Kisvarda, Hungary

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