Saturday, June 18, 2011

Seoul to Boost its Urban Competitiveness with IT

Dr. Jong-Sung Hwang, the newly appointed Assistant Mayor of Seoul for IT (AKA the CIO for the City of Seoul) has publicly stated his plans to boost the South Korean capital’s urban competitiveness to the 5th highest level among world cities. Plans to boost Seoul’s urban competitiveness will be created based on the following agenda: 1) A city making the most of smart technologies by extending the use of smart phones, CCTV, smart TV, and WiFi. 2) A city making outstanding use of smart technologies by applying real-time intelligent data and pre-emptive public services. 3) A city with a future-oriented smart urban living system which will address issues of safety, disaster, welfare, transportation, and other civil affairs. 4) A city with a smart economy and culture with focus on IT services, smart business, information security, and global contents. For further details, consult Asia Pacific FutureGov.
For even more background, there is an interesting post by Tim Carmody on FastCompany.  The last half or so of his post gets into the problem cities around the world face in providing free mobile service outside, on the streets and in public places, versus in people's homes.   In that section of his post, I only wish Carmody had mentioned the obvious fact that South Koreans spend a much greater portion of their waking hours outside the home, than do Americans and perhaps people in other cultures.  I think this is quantifiable and helps to explain why the Seoul government is so confident in moving ahead with its ambitious plan.  Also, the density of Seoul's large apartment complexes raises the obvious question of how many of them will be within range of one of the free wireless signals.  Certainly it will be a measurable and significant percentage. Finally, most apartment dwellers in Seoul and other large cities already have fiber to the home (FTTH) to their apartments and many, like me, have spent about $20-25 to purchase a wireless router and install a wireless access point in their apartment.  So, they already have fast wireless internet at home, at no cost other than their basic broadband subscription monthly fee.
In conclusion, I wish Dr. Hwang and his team at City Hall the best of luck. It seems clear that we residents of Seoul have some interesting new services to look forward to!

No comments:

Post a Comment