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Citizen Engagement at the core of Korea’s Smart City Strategy

When cities consider new ways of delivering services, support from citizens is essential for success. The best policies would have difficulty being implemented as uninformed and disengaged citizens are not able to support, and may even actively oppose them. For citizens to get involved early in the design of smart city projects, public education and access to a wide variety of open data and planning information might be key.

At the 7th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform, we learned that the City of Yokohama embarked on a Smart City Project, setting itself an ambitious target of CO2 reduction of 30% by 2025.  As part of the project various ICT and infrastructure components were deployed, however it was believed that engaging citizens to participate in the project and make lifestyle changes was equally important.

For example, the Yokohama Eco School project (YES) was developed to increase citizen participation, citizens attended lectures, events and workshops to understand climate change. In 2012, approximately 35,000 participants attended one of the 415 lectures  that were held . The result was an increase in the number of Energy Management Systems being installed in homes. In 2014, 4000 households participated in a demonstration project showing the high levels of citizen participation making the Yokohama Smart City Project one of Japan’s largest energy saving projects.

KT Corporation, the largest telecommunications service in Korea, have similar views where it is believed that most smart city projects are hardware infrastructure-oriented, citizens are neglected and are not aware of new, "smart" services being introduced.  This increases the risk in the implementation of smart city projects.

KT suggested some strategies to overcome these challenges and they include;

  • People-Public-Private Partnership - Engaging citizens successfully to be involved in planning and decision making processes to identify and develop citizen-centric smart services and improve local living conditions
  • Facilitate Big and Open data - Big data will be key enabler for a smart city. Utilizing crowd sourced and open data can be used innovatively to deliver citizen-centric services.
  • Utilizing a Smart city Platform - Smart Services that were built in silos can be integrated into a single platform,  improving operational efficiency.

It is expected that the strategies will greatly reduce risks involved in smart city projects and contribute to better smart city services being provided.

Join the discussions at the 10th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform this 18-19 August in Kuala Lumpur as KT Corporation shares insights on Korea's Smart City Strategy.

By: Ernest


By Ernest Ho | May 1st, 2017

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