Carl Grivner, chief executive officer at Pacnet, says Big Data enables non-traditional opportunities for urbanization development.
Each year, the Chongqing Mayor’s International Economic Advisory Council (CMIEAC) meets to discuss new opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship, development, urbanization, sustainability and security in the region. This year marked the eighth annual conference, which hosted more than 30 mayor advisors from leading multinational enterprises on hand for discussions around the theme of Opportunities and Challenges of Urbanization Development.
The annual meeting is an invitation-only event generally open to only C-level executives of select multinational companies. This year, I had the honor of being appointed Consultant Advisor and was invited to participate in the conference held on September 23, 2013 at the Chongqing International Convention and Exhibition Center. In addition to this unique appointment, Pacnet was selected as one of the companies invited to meet privately with the Mayor of Chongqing, Huang Qifan, on September 22, 2013.
Urbanization Development Across the Globe
The twentieth century has seen a great push in the world’s population leaving rural regions and making the move to cities, with an anticipated 70 percent of human beings living in urban communities by 2050 1. This urban sprawl has shed a new light on the topic of urbanization as well as the evolution of smart cities – metropolises that feature smart economies, smart buildings, smart mobility, smart energy, smart information communication and technology, smart planning, smart citizen and smart governance. Historically considered a lengthy journey, urbanization and its onslaught of ‘smart’ transformations have already started to take place across the globe. With Chongqing growing at a rate of 12 percent annually, an achievement that is envious not only for companies, but also countries on a global basis, the Chinese city is well on its way to meeting its goals for urbanization development.
The Rise of Big Data
In smart cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sant Cugat, Spain, devices and applications are used to monitor, manage and/or execute many daily tasks. The data generated by these technologies is then used to better manage flows – be it people, vehicles, goods, water or electricity. 2 Highly networked data center facilities are required to house these copious amounts of big data as well as support advanced analytics. The power, data center and communications infrastructure that has been put in place in Chongqing has enabled the city to support big data, drastically accelerating the city’s journey towards urbanization. Pacnet’s Chongqing data center, launched in March of 2013, brings a world-class facility to the Southwest region. The city also plans to add another 1,000,000 servers in the near future.
Transforming Education with Technology
Another aspect that cannot be overlooked when examining urbanization and the growth of smart cities is smart workers. The education of migrant workers is made possible by a combination of properties and the right infrastructure to provide big bandwidth and access to information. Today’s technology offers urban areas such as Chongqing ample reach and accessibility to information from nearly every corner of the world. Traditionally, brick-and-mortar educational institutions were the most effective way of educating and training workers effectively. Today, more and more communities are relying on access to networks and technology to bring information to and from end-users. Applications for distance learning and online training are just some of the key enablers to the urbanization of communities.
With access to better communications infrastructure and bigger pipes, big data transport capabilities provide nearly unlimited access to information. Urbanization is defined with a much broader sense in the new era, where information is available at your finger tips.
Carl Grivner, chief executive officer at Pacnet