South Korea to ‘export’ smart cities around the world

Multi-billion-dollar project to build test beds for smart cities from the ground up

Busan, South Korea. Daengpanya Atakorn/Shutterstock

The South Korea government has announced plans to build two test smart cities for replication in projects overseas, Yonhap reported via The Korea Herald.

These smart cities will be built in Sejong, an administrative town 120 kilometres south of Seoul, and Busan, where President Moon Jae-In attended ceremonies Wednesday unveiling the plans.

“Once the test cities in Busan and Sejong succeed, the country will push for overseas projects with a leading business model that will offer the entire process of planning, design, construction and management of the city in a single package,” the president said.

Set for completion by 2021, the test-bed cities will receive KRW3.7 trillion (USD3.3 billion) in funding from the government. They will be built from the ground up as opposed to remodeling or redeveloping existing cities.

The test smart cities will feature the most sophisticated advancements in the field of the Internet of Things (IoT), enabling the collection and constant supply of real-time data that will better inform urban planning and management.

“Our possibilities and capacities are enough. South Korean smart cities are globally recognised for the country’s advanced information and communication technology, including the Internet of Things (IoT), and its experience in building many successful new cities,” the president said.

As a result of automated processes and procedures in the cities, their residents have been envisioned to save up to 124 hours a year in time spent for commuting, queues at hospitals, and waiting for administrative tasks.

“While a smart city is a safe and future-oriented city, it is also a platform for innovative growth of the Republic of Korea,” Moon added.

“It is also one of the areas whose global markets are expected to grow at the fastest rate.”