Chengdu Universiade highlights city's high-tech, green development
Published: Jul 28, 2023 08:42 PM
Photo: Chen Tao/GT

Photo: Chen Tao/GT

As the 31st FISU Summer World University Games kicks off on Friday, athletes and visitors from around the world will witness not just the spectacle of sporting events, but also advanced technologies and environmentally friendly facilities in the host city, Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province. 

From robot table tennis coaches that help athletes train and indoor carbon dioxide concentration monitoring systems at the venues to new-energy smart cars on the road, Chengdu has showcased at the Games the latest advanced technologies in a wide range of areas - and its achievements in green, high-quality economic development.

"'Smart' Universiade is an important concept for the Chengdu Games. Since preparations for the Universiade started, technological elements have become a major feature," the Chengdu municipal bureau of science and technology said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Friday. 

According to the bureau, more than 170 high-tech products have been deployed at over 30 venues to offer technological support for hosting, participating in and watching the events. For example, world-leading 5G and 8K technologies will be used to broadcast the games. At some venues, robots named after the panda mascot of the Chengdu Games, Rongbao, will offer guidance and other services. 

"Chengdu has been a city with innovative genes since ancient times," the bureau said in the statement, adding that such genes have been incorporated into the spirit of the city, as it accompanies the promotion of high-quality economic and social development.

As a major city in Southwest China, Chengdu has made strides in promoting scientific and technological innovation and high-quality development in recent years. The city, which is home to 65 higher education institutes and more than 30 national level research institutions, has seen its total research and development spending surge by 16.9 percent over the past five years and its ranking in the global innovation index climb 27 places to No.29, according to official data. In 2022, the number of high-tech firms in the city rose 45.5 percent year-on-year to 11,500.

Many local tech firms have been deeply involved in the hosting of the Universiade. For example, Chengdu Dagongbochuang Information Technology Co is the primary support unit ensuring wireless security for the Games, according to Gong Xiaofeng, president of the company.

"It is an honor to be able to provide scientific and technological strength for Chengdu to organize a high-standard Universiade and pursue high-quality development," Gong told the Global Times on Friday.

A "green" Universiade is another major feature of the Chengdu Games. The host city has taken a slew of measures to cut carbon dioxide emissions, including upgrading 36 existing venues to meet environmental protection requirements and building 13 venues that meet high national standards, official data showed. 

Moreover, more than 90 percent of the transportation between the Universiade Village and the venues will be carried out by new-energy vehicles (NEVs) and all transportation within the Universiade Village will be carried out by NEVs.

Being innovative, green and open are key features of China's drive for high-quality development, and Chengdu, as an emerging first-tier city, is at the forefront of that drive. Furthermore, the Universiade offers Chengdu not just a stage to showcase the city's achievements but also an opportunity to further accelerate its pursuit of high-quality development, experts said. 

"In terms of development in the country's central and western region, Chengdu is doing very well. Plus, the city enjoys great national policy support in pursuing bolder opening-up, which can all help build Chengdu into a new model of high-quality development," Tian Yun, a Beijing-based economist, told the Global Times on Friday. 

Tian noted that many high-tech firms, attracted by Chengdu's rising profile and clear advantages, have relocated to the city in recent years, and the Universiade has further boosted Chengdu's global profile. "So I think these are opportunities that Chengdu can seize to pursue high-quality development," he said.