Delegation of Indian Smart City practitioners visits South Korea for knowledge exchange on innovative ICT solutions deployment for smart cities
Seoul, October01, 2016. Under the India- ICT enabled Integration for Green Growth Project (supported by KGGTF), a study tour delegation of three cities (Shimla, Panaji & Hubli Dharwad) concluded their visit today to South Korea for an understanding of the green growth oriented smart city solutions as implemented in cities of Seoul, Songdo and Anyang of South Korea. The delegation members consisted of commissioners of the respective cities and the senior-most officers from the urban development departments of the three states. The study tour was organized in partnership with SUSA (Seoul Urban Solutions Agency), Seoul City Government.
Government of India (GoI) has launched an ambitious Smart City Mission in 2015 to transform 100 selected cities into ‘smart cities’ using state of the art technology enabled solutions to effectively respond to the challenges arising out of rapid urbanization in the country. In order to help the selected cities implement ‘best’ and ‘next’ practices in line with global trends, GoI has allocated an outlay of INR 98,000 crore (USD 15,329.26 million) to carry out the 100 Smart City Program and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Program, an urban rejuvenation program for 500 towns and cities in the next five years.
Republic of Korea (South Korea) is one of the leading countries globally that has been successful in developing more than 20 Smart Cities based upon the principles of ‘green growth’ oriented design. South Korea has been consistently at the top of all the smart city development indices published globally for last five years. At the core of successful development of Smart Cities in South Korea are the National Green Growth Strategy and the Ubiquitous City (U–City) Framework of Korean government.
Development of Indian smart cities can greatly benefit from South Korean “Smart-City” development experiences. It will be even more beneficial, if a collaborative approach can be adopted for the development of smart city solutions in India that is aided with the expertise and experience of the Korean experts while offering India’s ICT prowess to Korean counterparts to customize the Korean smart city practices for replication and adaptation by Indian smart cities, said Dr. Shashank Ojha, Task team leader of KGGTF India project who was leading the Indian delegation.
This comprehensive study program facilitated delivery of the learning objectives with a balance between exposure to policy, administrative ICT solutions and field experiences. There was a good discussion on the institutional restructuring that was integral to the implementation of the Smart Cities program by respective cities. The demonstration of integrated state of the art solutions implemented at the key facilities in Seoul, Songdo and Anyang cities provided valuable insights on how ‘whole of the government approach’ and ‘ubiquitous ICT solutions’ can benefit the citizens and the administrations in Smart Cities, said Mr. Mahajan - Principal Secretary, Urban Development, Government of Goa, India.
As a part of the tour program, the delegation members participated in two workshops, one at the beginning of the tour program, during which Indian cities and state government representatives presented their plans and priorities; and the second on the last day of the program, where Indian officers shared their experiences and learnings as well as indicated their priorities for the projects/agencies/experts with whom they would like to explore the possibilities of further collaboration. Further additions to the main workshop programs included: a briefing by WeGO on global Smart Cities Knowledge Platform, demonstration of ‘smart parking system’ by one of the leading ICT companies in South Korea and interaction with select members of the delegation by senior representatives from Ministry of ICT, Ministry of Land reforms and key ICT industry leaders.
The main achievement of the study tour was increased recognition, better understanding and a higher awareness among the Indian smart city practitioners regarding the role and benefits of ‘green growth policies’ and of integrated ICT and New Media Solutions. The role of ICT integration strategies for supporting ‘whole of the government approach’, the need to design these right from the inception of the smart city projects, their ability to provide a springboard and an opportunity for city administrators to accelerate service delivery reforms in ways that would transform citizen services and improve the quality of city management and administrative functions were major learnings - opined participants of the Indian delegation.