South Korea bets on local smart city initiatives

Through a 256 billion won ($215 million) state project, South Korea’s transport ministry will establish smart city platforms in 64 small and medium-sized cities by 2025. The government will cooperate with local residents to develop platforms and related services that match citizens’ demands.

Local platforms

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in a statement on November 23 that the ministry will select 64 local city governments to provide 4 billion won each for the development of a local smart city platform. Basic smart city platforms will be established by 2025 and local citizens will be involved in the creation of tailor-made next-generation city infrastructure. 


Although South Korea has entered an early stage of nationwide smart city development, some local governments found it hard to win the hearts of citizens because the residents felt that some smart city projects were just tax-consuming works that have no relevance to their everyday lives. Some citizens have expressed doubt, claiming that smart city planners lacked in the understanding of regional situations.

Suitable model

The transport ministry said that the new smart city project will encourage residents to interact with local governments to find the most suitable smart city model for themselves. While planning a local smart city infrastructure to solve regional issues, residents can also receive consulting from government specialists. Smart city platforms will be established in 64 cities by 2025.


Good examples of smart city initiatives are being given by the cities of Incheon and Sejong. The western port city of Incheon has showcased an excellent example of a smart city service designed to solve local problems. Incheon is operating a bus-hailing service that dispatches a small-sized bus to a group of citizens. People can create and join groups and bus routes will be generated based on their destinations. 
The central administrative city of Sejong is one of the representative smart cities in South Korea. Due to its advantage as an administrative city with lesser traffic, newly invented self-driving cars can be safely tested in the city. 

Source: Aju Business Daily
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Header image: City of Incheon, by Kim Geun Hyeong.

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