The Korea Times: $830 Million Set for 'u-Seoul'
By Kim Tong-hyung
Seoul City plans to spend 800 billion won ($830 million) through 2011 in an urban development project focused on increasing the role of information and communication technology in civic planning and management.
The roadmap plan, dubbed ``u-Seoul'' for ``ubiquitous Seoul,'' includes initiatives to improve the high-tech infrastructure in business, administration, public transportation, culture, social welfare and environmental management among other sectors.
``The plan is to further integrate the advancements in information and communication technology into everyday life and business, eventually making Seoul into an international business city with increased foreign investment,'' said Park Chung-ho, director of the Seoul metropolitan government's information system planning bureau.
``Today's technology is pushing towards enabling people to enjoy high-speed network access anywhere, at anytime on any device. We believe that we could use this advantage to deal with problems such as rising social costs to support the aging population and complications in urban management with the city continuing to grow,'' he said.
Among the notable plans of u-Seoul, the city government expects to build a communication network between general hospitals, healthcare institutes and private clinics, allowing them to share patient records and increase their coverage of services. For patients, the network will benefit them with consistent medical treatment less limited by time and space.
For the culture sector, the city government plans to improve high-tech installments in sports facilities, tourist areas, museums, performance halls and libraries, allowing people a consolidated network to access information, purchases goods and book facilities.
In other plans, the city government will integrate a real-time monitoring system, using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, for detecting pollution and managing green areas. Urban planners will also further integrate information technology in public transportation, allowing commuters and drivers to receive traffic information on a real-time basis.
To increase foreign technology investment, the city is currently pushing projects to build high-tech research and development (R&D) clusters in Magok-dong, Sangam-dong and Kongnung-dong.
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