NATIONAL

South Korea hosts Asian symposium on smart cities

By Choi Si-young
  • Published : Oct 30, 2019 - 20:46
  • Updated : Oct 31, 2019 - 09:45

The Ministry of Government Legislation and the Korea Legislation Research Institute jointly held the seventh Asian Legislative Experts Symposium in Seoul on Wednesday.

Government Legislation Minister Kim Hyung-yun delivers the opening remarks at the seventh Asian Legislative Experts Symposium at The Plaza Seoul hotel in downtown Seoul, Wednesday. Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald

Under the theme “Legislative Modification Strategies for Smart City Development,” government officials and experts from Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia, discussed how to draw up legislation to facilitate the development of smart cities based on internet of things technology.

“Countries around the world are increasingly finding that smart cities offer efficient urban infrastructure with upgraded disaster management, leading to a robust economy,” Minister of Government Legislation Kim Hyung-yun said in his opening speech.

“I hope we can share our success stories on smart city development and discuss ways to come up with better legislation,” he added.

Kim Kye-hong, an expert from the KLRI, who delivered the opening speech, concurred.

“For smart cities to thrive, we need regulatory innovation. For that, we need the right kind of legislation in place,” he said.

In his congratulatory speech, Ambassador of Vietnam Nguyen Vu Tu spoke on South Korea’s strong diplomatic relations with his country.

He said he hoped the symposium would serve as a platform for people across Asia “to discuss shared goals” in legislation.

Keynote speaker Jung Jae-seung, a Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology professor who is chief architect of Sejong SmartCity -- a pangovernmental project that aims to turn the country’s administrative region into a model smart city -- highlighted larger roles that smart cities could play.

He noted that smart cities are about more than productivity and creativity, as they also promote the “diversity and happiness of citizens.”

But current laws and regulations have “little or no room to facilitate smart city expansion,” he said.

“We need regulatory innovation today,” Jung said.

After the presentation, local and foreign smart city experts shared successful legislation and held in-depth discussions on the subject.

“Data is key to smart cities. Most of (that) data is personal information, and we need to think about how to best manage it,” said Choi Seung-pil, a law professor at Hankuk University.

“Malaysia needs to learn making laws on data sharing and business dealings,” said Siti Muhaza Sheikh Zenial, undersecretary of Malaysia’s Ministry of Housing and Local Government, adding that laws should protect both safety and privacy.

Participants in the seventh Asian Legislative Experts Symposium, held at The Plaza Seoul hotel in downtown Seoul, Wednesday, pose for photos. Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald

Cung Trong Cuong, director of the Thua Thien Hue Institute for Development Studies in Vietnam, explained how his country is building smart cities to bring changes in transportation, tourism, health care and education.

He said the government should communicate with people to better roll out smart cities that cater to their needs.

Yordchatr Tasarika, a director at the Office of the Council of State in Thailand, shared how his country is overhauling smart city expansion to more fully satisfy those needs.

He said the country has seven pilot smart cities to see how it can improve the way cities manage energy, mobility, the environment and governance.

The Thai director added that deregulation could expedite smart city development.

Nguyen Chi Lan, a deputy director general at Vietnam’s Justice Ministry, said enhanced accessibility of governance was one of the many benefits of smart cities.

She said smart cities allow the government to engage the public online and allow the people to receive public services more easily and effectively.

“Smart city is innovation,” said Hwang Jong-sung, chief architect of Busan SmartCity, another pangovernmental project aimed at building a model smart city.

“Whether it be accessibility to infrastructure or governance, it’s about empowering people living in it,” he said.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)