Smart, Safe City ‘Gimpo’ Serves as Staging-Post for Korean ICT Exports to China
Smart, Safe City ‘Gimpo’ Serves as Staging-Post for Korean ICT Exports to China
  • By Jung Yeon-jin (
  • 승인 2015.07.28 15:09
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Considering China as part of the domestic market, Gimpo sets its sights on the spread of Gimpo-branded smart cities. Gimpo also won the 2015 Best Korean Policy Award for its ‘smartopia’ policy.

Gimpo, a city in Gyeonggi-do, S. Korea, is morphing into a world-class smart, safe city by fully embracing the IoT, cloud computing and big data analytics. Also, it increasingly serves as a beachhead for Korea ICT exports to the Chinese market.

Gimpo has been the envy of other municipalities as it has been selected as a contractor for state-funded projects one after another - i.e. the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP)’s smart town platform project and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT)’s ICT-based parking information platform project.

Along with efforts to break into the smart city markets in China and Russia, Gimbo has set up Gimpo Big Data Corporation to develop region-specific integrated safety management platforms and put them to good use in other municipalities across the nation.

Marking the 70th anniversary of Korea’s independence from Japan this year, Gimpo is poised to jack up its effort for building a ‘city of peace and culture’ and to get its cultural content project, called the ‘Hangang Cine Polis Project,’ on track.

Q: I’ve heard that Gimpo has been pushing for various projects under the motto: ‘Construction of the best smart city in S. Korea.’ Could you elaborate on them

A: Our citizen-led smart town platform project is a pilot project related to the provision of public services based on the convergence of broadcasting and communications. Gimpo had proposed the smart town platform project and got the nod from the MSIP. A total of KRW 840 million, 75% of which will be borne by the central and provincial governments, will be poured into the project.

Following a 7-month development period, we’ve completed the development of a smart town platform ( and a smart town app.

The smart town platform furnished various services, such Gimpo Community (an information sharing service for Gimpo citizens), Gimpo Best Brand Shop (a commercial service designed to revitalize the local economy), Gimpo Sharing (a talent sharing service), Gimpo Safety (a safety service for nurseries), Gimpo Story (a service introducing tourist attractions and the best places to eat in Gimpo) and Gimpo Contribute (a volunteer work service).

KRW 500 million will be sunk into the smart parking information platform project, which is also state-funded (50%).

Though there are parking information apps available in the private sector, they provide only basic information on parking lots, not real-time information. Once the project has been complete, parking information will be provided in real time.

Q: I’ve learned that Gimpo has signed a smart city MoU with Yangzhou.

We think of China as part of our domestic market because China is geographically close to Gimpo and flying back and forth between Gimpo and China is very convenient. Thus, we are teaching Gimpo public servants Chinese and send them to Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Xian on a training trip. We need to make a play for business opportunities arising from China’s east coast and inland cities in west China.
The Chinese government has announced its national smart city plan aimed at turning nearly 320 cities into smart ones by 2015, thus giving a fresh impetus to the informatization policies that had been pursued separately by local governments.

This has prompted us to mull ways to efficiently access smart city projects in China, which is fast becoming the world’s ICT arena. If we gain ground in the Chinese smart city market by tapping into our smart city experiences, we can obtain a new economic growth engine.

Therefore, we signed an MoU on smart city construction with Yangzhou (a Chinese city in central Jiangsu) on May 28. It will pave the way for the export of our integrated safety big data platform (based on the IoT and smart city technologies).

Russian officials from Irkutsk Oblast, located in southeastern Siberia, are scheduled to visit Gimpo to have a first-hand look at the IoT-based integrated safety big data platform. Uzbekistan is also showing an interest in it.

Q: Gimpo has established Gimpo Big Data Corporation as part of its integrated safety big data platform business.

Urbanization has led to complex buildings and multiuse facilities springing up, consequently increasing the occurrence of large-scale, man-made disasters, such as fires and building collapses.

There is a limit to the current central government-led, top-down, postemptive, physical response system. The key to successful disaster management, I believe, is to launch speedy responses within the golden time.

Not to miss the golden time, we need to graft the ICBM (IoT, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Mobile) onto our physical emergency response system so as to inform citizens of any signs of imminent danger in real time.

Exploiting ICBM technologies, Gimpo Big Data Corporation will make a belt-and-braces approach towards the prevention of fires and building collapses and the safety management of seven underground facilities (e.g. water and sewage), 55 ground facilities, traffic facilities (e.g. intelligent bus stops, smart parking lots), building complexes, parks and squares.

Q: How is the Gimpo subway construction project going What do you expect from it

A: A 23.63-kilometer long subway line with nine stations and one subway train depot is scheduled to open in November 2018.

Each subway train carriage will measure 2.65 meters in width, 13.7meters in length and 3.6 meters in height. It will take 28 minutes to travel 23.6 kilometers from Gimpo International Airport to Gurae dong in Hangang New Town. A total of 23 two-carriage subway trains will travel at a speed of about 50Km/h (design speed: 90Km/h, service speed: 80Km/h).

As of the end of June, 29% of the construction was complete. Once the Gimpo subway line has opened to the public in 2018, it will serve approximately 420,000 passengers, accounting for 9.72% of the total travel demand. Carrying 88,000 passengers on round trips a day, it will probably make a 10% cut in the total volume of traffic.

Q: Your ‘smartopia Gimpo’ policy has earned you the 2015 Best Korean Policy Award and the 2015 Korean SNS Industry Award.

A: It’s a great honor to receive such prizes. We’ve established Smartopia Center, i.e. a smart safety control tower, on the basis of Government 3.0, a new governance paradigm of the Park Geun-hye government.

We are determined to double our efforts to transform Gimpo into a global cutting-edge safe city through continued exchanges with international organizations, including the World e-Governments Organization of Cities and Local Governments (WeGO), the Global City Informatization Forum (GCIF) and the UN Project Office on Governance (UNPOG).

On the SNS front, the so-called ‘fingertip communication’ has spread quickly as smartphones have become inseparable from our daily lives across all age groups. Hence I’ve decided to set store by ‘communication-driven administration’ during my service as the 6th mayor of Gimpo elected by popular vote.

We have scaled up our SNS activities on Twitter, Facebook and blogs, with a view to having the previous unilateral information delivery system supplanted by an interactive communication-based one.

Q: You are keen on turning Gimpo into a city of peace and culture to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Korea’s independence form Japan.

Turning Gimpo into a city of peace and culture is one of my mayorship’s three major policies. In 1953, Gimpo was designated as a free zone, not part of the DMZ. Unfortunately, neither ecological surveys nor waterway surveys have been conducted since the division of the Korean peninsula. The S. Korea president has called on Pyongyang to carry out a joint waterway survey. Thus the Ministry of Unification is currently having discussions on relevant projects.

In view of Gimpo’s geographical characteristics, we had invited Han Wan-sang, former Deputy Prime Minister for Unification Affairs, to Gimpo and he gave a lecture to civil servants and citizens early this year. In April, we formed a preparatory committee for turning Gimpo into a city of peace and culture. Based on that, we’ve also enacted a relevant ordinance.

In the second half of this year, we will formally launch a committee for the cause and staff it with figures from various socio-political circles. And we will declare our commitments to promulgating peace on the Korean peninsula, as well as in the world, through the promotion of a city of peace and culture.

Q: Please tell us about any progress in the ‘Hangang Cine Polis Project.

After reaching business and shareholders' agreements, Gimpo Urban Corporation (GUC) and a private business in December 2014 applied for Gyeonggi Province’s approvals on the establishment of an SPC (Special Purpose Company) and making changes to an industrial complex plan.
As of now, consultations with the Environmental Office are underway. Once the consultations are finished, a bill on changes to Gyeonggi-do’s industrial complex plan will be proposed and deliberated on. The final decision on changes to the industrial complex plan will be announced at the end of August after deliberation by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT)’s Seoul Capital Area Deliberative Committee.

If things go well, the ‘Hangang Cine Polis Project’s general industrial complex will be located adjacent to Incheon International Airport and Gimpo International Airport and be easily accessible via the Seoul Ring Expressways, Gimpo-Han River Road and the Gimpo subway line. It will also have good road connections to the Sangam Digital Media City (DMC), Hallyu World and Bucheon Film and Cultural Complex.


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