September 27, 2022

John Doe, a resident of the Smart City of Sejong City, commutes to work in an autonomous car. Thanks to new AI systems that analyze traffic and navigate the fastest possible route, his journey is stress-free and relaxing. When he gets to work, a drone delivers a few books and some tomatoes that were grown on a “smart farm” and bought with his digital currency Sejong Coin.

Jane Doe, who lives in the “smart city” of Busan, paid almost nothing on her electricity bills last month despite the icy weather thanks to environmentally friendly energy sources. In addition, she no longer buys drinking water because she can drink purified, clean tap water directly from the city’s water supply system.

These are two of the Moon Jae-in administration’s blueprints for “Smart Cities,” urban areas that enhance key government services in the city with cutting-edge IT.

The Presidential Committee for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced plans for pilot projects on July 16 to establish new “Smart City” developments in Sejong City and Busan by 2021.

According to the plan, a 2.74-square-kilometer settlement in Block No. 5-1 in Sejong City, which is slightly smaller than the size of Yeouido Island in Seoul, will become a car sharing zone. Within this zone, residents commute in shared self-driving cars or on bicycles. You will also be making payments in digital currencies using blockchain technologies. Finally, the new development will also include drones and robots that deliver packages and even provide first aid.

Busan’s new eco-delta city, a 2.19-square-kilometer settlement, is becoming an eco-friendly neighborhood using water from the Nakdonggang River and the Pyeonggangcheon Stream for energy and drinking. The water will be used to generate hydrothermal energy, which will help residents save on electricity bills, and the neighborhood will have water treatment facilities adapted to high-rise buildings and their water supply needs.

“We want to improve the quality of life for citizens by applying cutting-edge technology to the urban landscape,” said the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. “We will successfully introduce such ‘smart cities’ and share our experiences with the global community.”