Smart-city drive begins in three urban centers

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Smart-city drive begins in three urban centers

The government will invest 12 billion won ($10.6 million) transforming Daejeon, Gimhae in South Gyeongsang and Bucheon in Gyeonggi into the first smart cities.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the government will provide a total of 6 billion won - 2 billion won for each city - while the remaining 6 billion won will come from local governments.

The ministry said in a statement that these cities have developed plans for the incorporation of smart-city services that work with the existing urban landscapes.

Two new cities will be added to the list each year for smart-city retrofits.

The designation of the three cities followed President Moon Jae-in’s announcement that he will be visiting Busan next week to attend a smart-city strategic briefing.

“The event will be offering a blueprint for cities of the future for the fourth industrial revolution,” said Han Jung-woo, Blue House deputy spokesman, on Thursday. “Our government has been preparing the smart-city project for a long time, and the goal is to make old downtowns smart through urban regeneration.”

The Land Ministry said Daejeon will be upgrading the outdated Daedeok Innopolis area, which provides smart services for daily living. Work will be undertaken under the “Renew Science Village” banner.

The city will set up a public transportation route for wirelessly-charged electric buses developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Smart lamp posts will be installed to enhance security.

Daejeon will also be setting up six centers in cooperation with research institutes. The centers will offer tours where visitors can gain firsthand experience with developing technologies.

Gimhae will be transforming into a smart tourism city providing augmented reality and virtual reality history tours focused on the ancient Gaya confederacy, which controlled the southern region of the peninsula during the sixth century. Gimhae will also install public Wi-Fi in 130 areas for tourist access.

Information collected by the Wi-Fi about the movement of the “floating population” will allow the government to develop small commercial areas within the city.

Bucheon will be addressing fine-dust issues with the utilization of big data. The city will install pollution-detection devices, and the resulting information will be processed so that remedial measures can be taken with sprinkler trucks.

The fine-dust reduction service will first be tested at cement factories, schools and subway stations.

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