Urenio Watch Watch: Intelligent Cities / Smart Cities

Gangnam District in Seoul Named the Intelligent Community of the Year

Gangnam District, Seoul, South KoreaThe Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) named Gangnam District, Seoul, South Korea as the Intelligent Community of the Year for 2008. In addition, ICF announced the winners of the inaugural Founders Awards and honored the Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year 2008, Scot Rourke, during the Intelligent Community Awards ceremony.

The goal of the awards is to increase awareness of the role that broadband communication and information technology play in economic and social development worldwide.

ICF Co-founder and Chairman John G. Jung praised the Intelligent Community of the Year:

Gangnam District started its e-government program before there was an Internet. Through incredible dedication to improving their economy and the lives of their citizens, Gangnam has consistently demonstrated its commitment to building a sustainable broadband economy.

According to the ICF: “The district has led the nation in using broadband to make government more transparent, increase citizen participation, and even to help citizens who remained outside the local broadband economy. About 350,000 citizens are registered users of the district’s Web portal, and 210,000 are subscribers to an email system that asks for their comment on proposed laws and regulations. In 2005, Gangnam equipped its social service staff with wireless PDAs, enabling them to check information, make reports and request services while visiting clients. In 2006, it launched TV GOV, a set of interactive e-government applications running over the familiar medium of the television set. The system enables users to access services in 34 categories, as well as government news channels, cultural and arts channels, and specialized information for seniors, women and children.”

The district contains only 2.5% of Seoul’s population but produces 25% of its gross domestic product. Gangnam’s development as an Intelligent Community began in 1995, when the district launched its first “electronic government” project. By 1997, the district had a local area network connecting government offices and a set of tax payment and other applications running on public kiosks. By 1999, the system could process all registrations, permits and other citizen applications electronically. Gangnam converted the system to the Web in 2002, and by 2006 collected 264 billion won (US$280m) in taxes online, 15% of the total, and issued 2 million documents to citizens through the Internet or public kiosks. The system has made possible a 25% reduction in the local government’s employment since 1995, and Gangnam estimates that it has saved citizens time worth 28.5bn won (US$30m).

Previous Intelligent Community Award recipients are:

  • 2007’”Waterloo, Canada
  • 2006’”Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2005’”Mitaka, Japan
  • 2004’”Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • 2003’”Award not given
  • 2002’”Calgary, Canada, and Seoul, South Korea
  • 2001’”New York City, USA