BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Apr. 4, 2019– Belize City Mayor, Bernard Wagner, and a delegation he led to Taipei, Taiwan, returned home over the weekend, after attending the 2019 Smart Cities Summit & Expo. Accompanying Mayor Wagner was Councilor with responsibility for Traffic, Allan Pollard; Councilor with responsibility for Public Health and Cemetery, Deltrude Hylton; and City Planner, Carla Patnett.
The five-day visit included the delegation’s participation in activities and forums geared towards the development of smart cities globally.
In a telephone interview tonight, Mayor Wagner told us that the Belize City Council’s participation in the Smart Cities Summit & Expo was made possible by the Taiwanese Embassy in Belize and while in Taiwan the delegation was hosted by the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mayor Wagner said the Smart Cities Summit and Expo is now in its sixth year and the focus is on utilizing artificial intelligence as much as possible in everyday life in order to save valuable human resources.
The Mayor said that there is a whole range of things that smart cities encompass; for example, there are smart traffic lights, which are able to incorporate CTV- type surveillance. There is smart healthcare, smart agriculture, smart schools and so on.
Mayor Wagner said the delegation visited the police department in Taipei, the fire department and the Emergency Operations Center in Taipei and Taipei’s City Hall.
The expo’s features ranged from smart agriculture solutions to smart bus shelter solutions; smart home solutions to smart healthcare solutions; smart schools to smart street lighting; and smart parks to smart traffic solutions.
“Mayor Wagner was guest speaker at the Mayor’s Conference, where participants had the opportunity to exchange experiences with smart city development, while learning about other concepts and solutions,” said a press release from City Hall.
Mayor Wagner said that on the last day of the trip they had the opportunity to rekindle the sister-city relationship with the City of Kaohsiung. That is a relationship that began under UDP Mayor Zenaida Moya, but the relationship was not maintained.
Kaohsiung’s Mayor has promised to assist Belize City with some transportation.
In terms of Belize City, Mayor Wagner said that he plans to implement some of what they learned from the summit, beginning with traffic lights. A new traffic light will be placed on Central American Boulevard, in the vicinity of 88 Store.