Hong Kong joins the Smart City App Hack challenge

When it comes to collaborate with local communities to think, design and code the apps people need, the city of Hong Kong  has launched several initiatives fully aligned with SCAH’s mantra (e.g. to use the city as a platform where public interest services are developed and offered by citizens to citizens and where the use of open data and open platform enable to mobilize the local community into finding solutions to local problems in a constructive entrepreneurship-driving process).

In their own words:

“The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) launched the public sector information (PSI) portal in 2011 to make available PSI in digital formats facilitating commercial or non-commercial re-use free-of-charge.

This initiative helps open up new business opportunities, bring convenience to the public, enhance the quality of living and even generate social benefits.  Many popular mobile apps in Hong Kong make use of PSI to deliver cherished information and services on a user-friendly platform.  The most common data used include traffic snapshots, weather, air quality, etc.   Through these apps, users can plan their routes based on real-time traffic situation or their activities based on weather and air quality information.  So far, over 70 mobile applications or solutions have been developed by the industry and most of them are free for download.

The HKSAR Government had rolled out two publicity campaigns in 2012 and 2014, comprising a series of PSI promotional activities, talks, training courses, application competitions and exhibitions.  The campaigns aimed to raise the awareness of PSI among application developers, tertiary students and the general public, and to encourage its re-use.  More than 4 000 people participated in the events.

To further step up the release of PSI, the Financial Secretary of HKSAR Government announced in the 2015-16 Budget that from 2015 onwards, all free online government information will be released in digital formats.  In order to provide a larger and more flexible platform for departments to release data, the HKSAR Government launched the revamped PSI portal “” in early 2015 to encourage more creative re-use of data.  The portal now provides more than 4 000 datasets in 18 broad categories such as weather, health, population and transport.”

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