The First Smart City
Located on an island off the city of Incho, 65 kilometers from Seoul, New Songdo is the world's first city to be built according to smart city criteria. Covering an area of just over 6 square kilometers, the new city - whose construction, begun in 2004, is expected to be completed in 2015 - has been developed according to the master plan of the US consultancy Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, in which along an extensive waterfront residential neighborhoods for 60. 000 people with a business district colonized by tall office towers, a museum, an international school, a golf course and, above all, a large convention center, the Convensia, designed to turn Songdo into Asia's main business center. Unable to escape from the playful example of other major convention centers, such as Las Vegas or Macao, New Songdo will also have its own replicas of some of the world's architectural landmarks, such as New York's Central Park or the canals of Venice.
The most unique aspect of Songdo City, however, lies not in its predictable status as a 'generic city', but in the fact that, with an estimated investment of US$40 billion from Gale International and POSCO, it is the largest private development in the world. In addition, Songdo has been conceived as a comprehensive 'urban intelligence' laboratory, since all the city's infrastructure networks, as well as residential, medical and commercial facilities, are equipped with sensors that measure everything from the capacity of the sewage networks to the traffic density of the streets, pollution levels and even the presence of 'suspicious' people in certain areas. Connected as a network, these digital infrastructures will send their data in real time to a large processing center - the 'brain' of the city - where the data will be analyzed and decisions will be made. This ubiquitous computing will be accompanied, in all Songdo spaces, by high connectivity to computer systems and access to networked services...