The success of Seoul as a leading smart city

Smart cities, incorporating technology in businesses, leisure, and residences, are on the rise across the globe. Among the world’s leading smart cities is the tech-savvy Seoul, which takes advantage of the sky-high internet use across South Korea (96% at its highest) to instantaneously connect with its population. With more than 10 million residents, a smaller geographic area, and a higher population density, South Korea’s capital city of Seoul is more populated than New York City. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has stated its aspiration to be “a leading digital capital in the world by 2020”, and has outlined a vision and strategy to achieve this.

To investigate this subject further, we offer up our platform to Sylvia Lee, Marketing Manager at SALTO Systems Asia. Read on for her considerations on the key factors contributing to Seoul’s success as a leading smart city.

Government support and a vision for the future

Smart cities are a key part of the Korean government’s industrial policy. President Moon Jae-in sees smart cities as an essential component for improving the quality of citizens’ lives and as a means to grow Korea’s economy through the development and commercialisation of emerging fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies. Significant political support has been given to national smart city projects, with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation being motivated to finish the flagship projects before the end of President Moon’s term in 2022.

The 2018 Act on the Promotion of Smart City Development and Industry, commonly known as the Smart City Act, creates an open-ended definition of a smart city as consisting of interconnected services and facilities that improve competitiveness and quality of life. This definition gives significant power to individual cities and projects to determine key components and themes, effectively making smart city initiatives a fluid platform for the delivery of diverse connected services.

The Government of South Korea has clearly outlined its commitment to smart cities. Their goal to make the future digital has been explicitly stated in ‘Digital 2020’, in the form of both a vision and a mission:

Vision: We will connect with citizens and make Seoul digital with them. “Global Digital Seoul, new connections and different experiences”.

Mission: A city that works with citizens and the private sector to resolve urban problems and change the lives of the citizens based on data.

Technical feasibility

Seoul prides itself on having among the best digital infrastructure in the world, with digital platforms, communication networks and security controls in place to create a state-of-the-art city with supreme digital urban infrastructure.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) claims its smart-city platform is the world’s first digital administrative system which enables policymakers to have a complete real-time view of what’s happening in the city and the ability to communicate directly with staff in the field. SMG also upgrades the equipment for optical communication networks to cope with increased data and public WiFi use. Besides that, SMG has expanded the establishment of a WiFi infrastructure for everyone in Seoul, with the instalment of additional 18.817 APs making WiFi available in the entire public area of Seoul.

Citizen’s buy-in

Based on the concept of citizen-driven governance, the government of South Korea aims to actualize citizens’ ideas using digital technology and to provide the services that the citizens want the most.

To achieve these two objectives, the government is building and operating a multi-stakeholder system which includes citizens, the private sector and experts in the planning, execution, operation and assessment of digital projects. SMG created an open suggestion and selection system for new municipal projects, a citizen suggestion website called Ten Million Imagination Oasis. Additionally, SMG has set up digital information kiosks in metro stations.

The importance of finding the right partners

A Smart City Synergy Alliance consisting of 113 companies was created in February 2019 to coordinate with local and national governments on the platforms, components and services for different projects. Foreign suppliers are welcome to take part, in order to include the best service and technology providers to help in building smart cities in Korea. Key players in the private sector include the leading local telcos SK Telecom and KT.

Key areas of opportunity for service and technology providers include the main components of smart city projects such as autonomous vehicles, convenience for residents, safety, renewable energy, robotics, AI, data analytics, and more.

The trend: Smart access control is essential to the future of smart cities

In smart cities, the use of information and communication technologies increases operational efficiency, the flow of information, and improves the quality of life of its residents. Smart access is an important step forward in supporting the ambition of smart cities and their respective smart industries. Furthermore, it is vital to have an access control system in place due to the high volumes of people entering and exiting different areas of the city.

The SALTO KS solution offers a way to run your business’access through the cloud. Its proven reliability, scalability and recognised stability bring cloud-based access control to any type of business, in any part of the world. All you need is an online device, for instance, a smartphone, with an internet connection. This means that you can be relieved of replacing mechanical locks when keys are lost or stolen, keeping up with the pace of a smart city. Additionally, you can monitor who accesses your site, open doors remotely and gain actionable insights which contribute towards operational efficiency.

As of February 2020, SALTO serves around 1.5 million lock openings each day and has plenty of successful implementations in Asian cities, including Taipei, Seoul, and Hong Kong.

Want to learn more about how SALTO’s solutions can be deployed in smart city projects?

Please visit our virtual booth at Smart City Online or the event-dedicated landing page.

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SALTO KS provides a flexible access control management system that requires no software installation or the added expense of a fully-wired electronic product. Modern cloud-based, wireless access control systems are easy and simple to use for businesses including Coworking Spaces, Coliving Buildings, Purpose Built Student Accommodation, Retail, Multi-Tenant Housing, Gyms and many more. Our best in class wireless access control solution and smart locks guarantee the efficiency for your business. Integrate smart locks, start easily managing wireless access control now!

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