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Urbanization of Post-COVID-China
Big Data Response Mechanism
Panel Discussion

Sat, May 15    10pm

Opening remarks by Weiping Wu Director of Urban Planning Program, Columbia GSAPP, followed by panelists:
Peiqin Gu (MSUP’ 14) Co-founder & CTO, CityDNA Technology
Yang Liao (MSAUD’ 17) Planner, Shenzhen Urban Planning and Design Institute
Helena Rong Ph.D. Student, Urban Planning Program, Columbia GSAPP

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the economic and social vulnerabilities of many global urban systems. Effective pandemic prevention and control experiences, which include the deployment of big data applications as an important tool in China’s disease control and post-epidemic recovery, are worth discussion.

With a total population of over 1.3 billion, China has high urban density and high regional mobility. Disease control in China is a complex decision-making process that involves a wide range of fields, including data science. Taking the lead in harnessing the advanced positioning technology on mobile phones, China used the locational data to study the national population’s flow, anticipate the spread of the disease, and effectively contain the virus. Cell phone GPS data and transit data are also used to trace specific subgroups of the population, such as the confirmed cases and their close contacts, to support disease control measures. Telecom operators allow their users to query their itineraries within the last 14 days and QR codes provide health certificates for individuals. Chinese cities are large, and the traffic grid is highly distributed. Big data improves logistics efficiency and ensures the accurate delivery of medical supplies and other necessities. The well-developed “non-contact” delivery services clear the barriers for stay-at-home isolation and contribute to preventing infections in public space. China State Railway Group depends on big data to analyze freight demand, utilize off-peak capacity, and dynamically adjust train schedules.

China has a large urban population, and medical resources are limited. Big data has played an important role in assisting diagnosis and treatment, improving medical efficiency during the pandemic as well as the normalization process afterward. Tencent’s artificial intelligence CT device has been deployed in the most significant mobile cabin hospital in Hubei province, helping front-line doctors identify COVID-19 within seconds and provide a diagnostic reference for doctors. Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center guided Yitu Medical to develop an intelligent evaluation system for new coronary pneumonia. Neusoft Medical and Academician Zhong Nanshan’s team jointly established a laboratory for the new coronary pneumonia intelligent auxiliary screening system. These systems were launched quickly, responding to the needs of clinical diagnosis.

The panel aims to promote a reflection of the planning profession and new competency requirements for planners in the age of big data. With the COVID-19 gradually leveling off and the formation of the new post-pandemic normal, the panelists will discuss the far-reaching impact of big data on China’s future urban governance, population health, social welfare and citizens’ lifestyle, and project the outlook for the future of the planning profession and the integration of big data. This panel is organized by Urban China Network of Columbia GSAPP in collaboration with Columbia Global Center (CGC) Beijing.

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Schedule
9:45pm - 10:00pm Sign in
10:00pm - 10:10pm Opening Remarks
10:10pm -12:00am Panel: Urbanization of Post-COVID-China – Big Data Response Mechanism
12:00am-2:00am Reception and Mingling with current students and alumni

This panel is organized by Urban China Network of Columbia GSAPP in collaboration with Columbia Global Center (CGC) in Beijing. Aiming to trigger thoughts about urban planning, the panel intends to review the latest application of big data response mechanisms and anticipate its profound impact on city governance, public health and urban lifestyles in China.

Urban Reflection on Covid-19, a student initiative, is collecting essays and design work from students and young scholars worldwide, which discuss pandemic-related urban topics, including the challenges faced by mega-city management, public health and safety, environmental management, and growth and development in the urban context!