South Korea to Develop Sejong, Busan as Smart Cities by 2023

By IOT Journal

Various technologies, ranging from autonomous vehicles to facial-recognition systems, will be adopted in parts of the two urban areas within the next five years.

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South Korea has tapped the country’s administrative hub of Sejong and the southeastern port city of Busan as test beds for the realization of smart cities, a presidential committee said Monday, as Asia’s fourth-largest economy searches for new growth engines. Various innovative technologies, ranging from autonomous vehicles to facial recognition systems, will be adopted in parts of the two urban areas to make them into world-class smart cities within the next five years, the Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution said.

The 274.1 million square-meter district in Sejong, a city in central South Korea, will be developed under the theme of energy and transportation, according to the committee. Called a “mini capital,” Sejong is home to dozens of government ministries and agencies. The 219.4 million square-meter area in Busan, the country’s second largest city 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul, will be focused on global logistics, it said. Further details will be decided down the road.

The committee, comprised of officials from various government bodies, said it will launch full-fledged support for the cities, spurring investment in the private sector as well as boosting research and development in relevant areas. The committee plans to begin construction on the districts in the first half of next year.

“Smart city is a meaningful platform where all the technologies and services born from the fourth industrial revolution can be realized,” Chang Byung-gyu, the head of the committee, said in a press release. “In order for smart cities to take root, it is important that they have open-ended expandability,” he said, emphasizing the role of citizens’ participation in resolving issues faced by society.

The Moon Jae-in administration has been focusing on boosting burgeoning industrial sectors such as self-driving cars, drones, robots and financial technology, or fintech, which are deemed to be new growth engines. Last week, President Moon called for swift measures to remove unnecessary and excessive regulations, calling them a major hurdle to a new start for the country’s economy.