Busan and Sejong to become first smart cities

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Busan and Sejong to become first smart cities

Busan and Sejong have been selected as the locations of Korea’s first “smart cities,” with development scheduled to begin at the start of next year.

The goal is to create the world’s leading smart cities within the next five years, including adopting autonomous public transportation, efficient traffic management systems through big data and artificial intelligence data analysis, lowering energy consumption via smart grids and renewable energy and increasing public safety through integrated systems that connect surveillance cameras and smart street lights which automatically turn on when a person is in need of help.

The Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution on Monday said it has selected a 2.19 million square meter (541 acre) area in Busan and a 2.74 million square meter area in Sejong as test beds for the country’s first smart cities that will be completed by 2021.

The cities will apply a next generation network system, big data and artificial intelligence on its infrastructure, including smart grids and autonomous vehicle operation. The goal is to create a city with innovative industrial ecosystems from scratch.

“The fourth industrial revolution committee in the last two months has held seven meetings and came to its final decision through a swift and thorough discussion,” said Chang Byung-gyu, head of the presidential committee.

“The smart city is meaningful as a platform where all fourth industrial revolution technological services will be implemented,” Chang said. “Even President [Moon Jae-in] in the inauguration of this committee and in the first meeting emphasized smart cities as a specific policy project which the public can actually experience.”

Vice Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Son Byeong-suk said the two sites were selected because of their connectivity to surrounding innovative industries, the establishment of smart infrastructure as well as balanced development.

“The two sites have the appropriate amount of land where the new technologies can be implemented and are considered to contribute to the national balanced development,” said Son.

“The residents will be moving in to these trial cities starting in 2021 and the cities will be designed with fourth industrial revolution technology where the residents can actually feel the difference of a future city in their daily lives.”

Son added that the government will be executing bold regulatory reforms.

“We plan on providing full support including active participation of the public and government R&D,” Son said.

The Sejong smart city will be designed with a theme emphasizing smart energy and transportation including a special zero emission complex and fine dust monitoring center, while the Busan smart city will focus on logistics and water-related technologies including smart purification and hydropower generators as well as natural disaster management systems.

The smart city technologies will be applied to existing cities as well. The government plans to select four local governments every year until 2020 to run their own smart city projects.

BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]

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