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Top three smart cities in South Korea

South Korea is well known for the deployment of smart cities projects across several cities. The government, together with private investment, is making efforts to expand these initiatives in areas, including traffic, government services, security, energy and the environment.

According to a previous study by ABI Research, South Korea, China and Japan are currently leading the deployment of smart cities initiatives Asia.


One of the top smart cities in South Korea is Anyang, a city of 600,000 people near South Korea’s capital Seoul. This city has been developing its smart city project since 2003.

Anyang’s Integrated Operation and Control Center currently acts as the platform that gathers, analyzes and distributes information for mobility, disasters management and crime.

The city has deployed an intelligent transport system to provide traffic management and traffic information services. Sensors send real-time traffic information to the control center, which uses the insight to provide information to the public via the internet and mobile applications.

Anyang’s smart city platform also monitors traffic in real time, and in case of traffic accidents police and fire station are notified to respond to the issue, prevent secondary accidents and minimize traffic congestion.


Busan is the country’s second largest city, with a population of over 3.6 million. The city is also South Korea’s largest port. The city has been implementing cloud-based infrastructure delivered by a successful collaboration between the local government, Cisco, and South Korea’s largest telco, KT. Building on a total investment of $320 million, Busan Green u-City initiative is now moving forward and implementing its multi-staged development plan. This will result in the launch of community centers and numerous urban services for its citizens.

The public-private-partnership set up between Busan Metropolitan City, Cisco and KT, shares both the costs and the risks of the project. Building on their successful collaboration in the Incheon Free Economic Zone and Busan, Cisco and KT have established a joint venture, KCSS, which is now providing a full range of ICT solutions to other cities in Asia.

The partners are implementing the project in three stages. During the first phase, they focused on the design, and brought together city administration and developers in the Busan Mobile Application Centre, a shared application development platform that uses open city data. In stage two, new services for the city and its citizens were trialed and key platforms for content management were developed. The third stage will deploy commercial end-user services and build a more robust cloud platform for commercial and industrial applications.

Busan’s smart city initiative includes projects in several areas such as smart community, urban mobility, safety and security, smart energy and smart logistics.


Another smart city case is the city of Namyangju, which has population of 650,000 and is located 25 kilometers northeast of Seoul in the Republic of Korea.

As a proactive response to new demands in public transport and public safety, the city adopted a rapid action plan to implement a number of smart city initiatives with a focus on the implementation of intelligent transport system and crime prevention systems.

Namyangju’s intelligent traffic system (ITS) is establishing a basis for future transportation that can provide ubiquitous services customized for residents. It is an advanced, green traffic system that can improve traffic efficiency, and safety in general, by using innovative technologies not only to automate operation and control of the traffic system, but also to collect, process and provide various traffic-related data points.

Namyangju’s ITS collects and processes real-time running information via RSE (Road Side Equipments) installed on the city’s main roads and also provides real-time traffic information via car terminals, variable message signs (VMS), and internet connectivity.

By using smartphones, users can access real-time information about traffic conditions, unexpected situation, CCTV footage and dyanamic bus routes.

Namyangju is also running a crime prevention service by utilizing electronic communication facilities installed at bus stops. Crime prevention alarms and CCTVs are installed at 99 bus platforms. In case of crime or emergencies, these facilities connect with the crime prevention center.

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