Mayor Park Won-soon introduced a variety innovative policies of “Smart City Seoul” that solves the problems in citizens’ lives using new technologies, such as big data and ICT, and make the city sustainable. More than 120 mayors of cities and officials of governments and international organizations from over 80 countries around the world sat in on the speech.
Starting at 1:30 p.m. (local time) on the 11th, Mayor Park Won-soon, who was touring Central and South America, gave a keynote speech entitled, “Seoul, the Sustainable Smart City through New Technologies,” as the keynote speaker for the first session of the WCS Mayors Forum 2019 that was held in Medellin, Colombia.
The WCS Mayors Forum is a venue where mayors of cities around the world and officials of governments, institutions, and international organizations gather to share the tasks to actualize sustainable cities and renew their partnerships. This year, the forum took place from July 10 to 12 under the theme “Livable and Sustainable Cities: Building a High Trust City” in Medellin (the winner of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize in 2016).
Mayor Park introduced the Owl Buses & Squirrel Buses, the IoT Share Parking System, and the Digital Mayor’s Office of the Citizens. He explained that Seoul is trying ceaseless experiments and innovations based on big data and IoT technology (Smart City Seoul realized with IoT sensors, intelligent CCTV, and chatbots), while encouraging the participation of citizens with its philosophy, “Citizens are the mayor.”
The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is given to the city that has achieved remarkable outcomes in making a livable, lively, and sustainable city. In 2018, Seoul became the fifth winner in recognition of its urban restoration through citizens’ participation, following Bilbao, Spain (2010), New York City, United States. (2012), Suzhou, China (2014), and Medellin, Colombia (2016).
The breakfast meeting was a venue to share the cases and policies pursued by each city for the sustainable development of the cities. Mayor Park Won-soon shared the Seoul-type, citizen-centered urban restorations that picked up steam after the receipt of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, such as ▴ Sewoon Shopping Center that was reborn into the mecca for entrepreneurship in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, ▴ Gyeongchun Line Forest, an elongated park that was created out of a remodeled, unused railroad, and ▴ Seoul Book Bogo, the nation’s first public, used book store that was created out of a remodeled, massive abandoned storehouse.
At 9 a.m. (local time), Mayor Park visited the escalator that was installed as public transportation so as to improve the mobility and security for the hilly, underprivileged village.
The 384-meter escalator was installed near the San Javier Station for the mobility of the residents of Comuna 13, the underprivileged village located in the mountainous western part of Medellin. Mayor Park Won-soon also presented the plan for the city of Seoul involving the introduction of new means of transportation for residents who are living on slopes or in hilly districts through the “policy initiatives for balanced development between areas” that was announced after Mayor Park lived in Samyang-dong last summer for a month.
Mayor Park Won-soon said, “Over the last eight years, Seoul has created a momentum through which it turned from a city of hardware into a city of software, from a city of development and construction into a city of the people. It was the smart administration that has driven innovation for the lives of the citizens. I will take the lead in urban innovation as I learn about the cases of other cities, including the cities who have won the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, through the WCS Mayors Forum and share the excellent examples of global cities and Seoul.”