Busan Eco Delta Smart City. [Photo by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport]
A global cooperation project for smart city construction led by the South Korean government has attracted enthusiastic participation from many countries around the globe.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said Tuesday that it received 111 applications from 39 countries for the K-City Network, a global smart city partnership program, from February 18 to April 20. The number of applications increased 38.8 percent or 31 and the number of applicant countries rose from last year.
The K-City Network is a three-pronged program to help overseas cities establish urban development plan such as blueprint, master plan and feasibility test; or establish smart solutions regarding transportation, platform and environment; or to demonstrate new smart city solutions developed by Korean companies.
There are 35 applications from 10 countries from the so-called New Southern region encompassing 10 ASEAN nations and India, 33 applications from 8 countries from New Northern region and 19 applications from 6 Latin American countries, according to the ministry. Particularly this year, applicants range from developed countries including the U.S., France and Spain to African nations like Ghana, Nigeria and Moroco and Middle Eastern countries like Jordan and Iran.
A total of 24 countries submitted 57 applications for urban development planning. Vietnam, the Philippines and Botswana asked for help to devise smart city development roadmap, while Uzbekistan requested partnership for construction of satellite cities, Belarus for designating development zone and Paraguay for development of industrial complex.
There are 40 applications from 16 countries for smart solution development, with 13 for transportation, 4 for urban management, 5 for environment and 5 for safety.
The remaining 14 applications are for demonstration of smart city solutions. Three applicants requested cooperation for transportation such as smart parking and street light, 4 for water management, 2 for safety and 2 for telecommunications.
The ministry plans to select final winners on June 23 after reviewing the applications with internal and external experts.
“The active participation in the K-City Network project despite the Covid-19 pandemic has proved overseas countries’ keen interest in Korea’s smart city development program,” said Choi Im-rak, the head of city planning division of the land ministry. “We will select the winners after taking into account urgency of the project for applicant nations and Korean companies’ competency.”
By Yoo Joon-ho and Choi Mira
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