District in Seoul wins 'Intelligent Community of the Year'

Intelligent Community Forum names Gangnam District in Seoul, Korea, as the 2008 Intelligent Community of the Year

New York City-based think tank Intelligent Community Forum last Friday named the Gangnam District in Seoul, Korea, as the 2008 Intelligent Community of the Year as part of its annual conference held last week at Brooklyn Polytechnic University.

Equivalent to a New York or London borough, Gangnam is one of 25 self-governing districts in the Korean capital. ICF officials cited the extraordinary level of e-government and citizen participation via the Internet and television in the life of the community as the basis for this year's award.

Gangnam is part of the affluent metropolitan area south of the Han River, which bisects Seoul, a city that is home to the fifth highest level of Fortune 500 global companies. The district contains 2.5 percent of Seoul's population but produces 25 percent of its gross domestic product. Gangnam started systematic e-government initiatives in 1995, the same year in which only 1 percent of South Koreans used the Internet.

By 2006, because of a concerted national policy of broadband development working with private wireline and wireless carriers, 28 percent percent of South Korea's population were subscribers to broadband networks that reached 14 million people, a penetration rate fourth highest globally. Koreans access some of the fastest speeds in the world, with 100 Mbps available for a base rate of about US$37 per month.

ICF says the Gangnam district "led the nation in using broadband to make government more transparent, increase citizen participation, and even to help citizens who remained outside the local broadband economy." From a total population of about half a million, "about 350,000 citizens are registered users of the district's Web portal, and 210,000 are subscribers to an e-mail system that asks for their comment on proposed laws and regulations. In 2006, it launched TV GOV, a set of interactive e-government applications running over the familiar medium of the television set."

The New York think tank also cited these impressive statistics in making its award: Gangnam in 2006 collected US$280 million in taxes online, 15 percent of the total, and issued 2 million documents to citizens through the Internet or public kiosks. The system has made possible a 25 percent reduction in the local government's employment since 1995, and Gangnam estimates that it has saved citizens time worth $30 million.

US Communities among finalists meeting Intelligent Community criteria

In 2008 three United States communities or regions -- Northeast Ohio, Westchester, NY, and Winston-Salem, NC, were among the Intelligent Community finalists. New York City was the last United States winner, in 2001.

Criteria for the Intelligent Community award are: creation of jobs in fields expected to prosper in the Broadband Economy; attracting new businesses; educational programs for skills to perform knowledge work; new technology infrastructure investment, whether of "hard" assets, services or software; innovation in the delivery of government services; innovation by local business that creates new products and services and leads to increased competitiveness; ensuring access to broadband and IT resources, as well as skills training, for low-income and at-risk populations

Previous Intelligent Community Award recipients are:

  • 2007--Waterloo, Canada

  • 2006--Taipei, Taiwan

  • 2005--Mitaka, Japan

  • 2004--Glasgow, United Kingdom

  • 2003--Award not given

  • 2002--Calgary, Canada, and Seoul, South Korea

  • 2001--New York City, USA

    The 2009 Intelligent Community of the Year competition opens with nominations this summer in July 2008 and a final deadline in early October. Seven finalists will be announced at the Pacific Telecommunications Council's January 2009 conference in Honolulu. Entry information is available here.

    Visionary of the Year: OneCommunity's Scot Rourke

    ICF also cited Cleveland's Scot Rourke as Visionary of the Year for his leadership of OneCommunity, under which the Ohio region's carriers donated unused fiber-optic circuits to OneCommunity and OneCommunity contracted for last-mile fiber and VPN services from the carriers. The result was an "ultra-broadband" network connecting the major government, institutional and nonprofit users in the region.

    Additional ICF Founders Awards went to the X-Road Middleware Platform, (Tallin, Estonia); Gangnam Academic Aptitude Broadcasting, (Seoul, South Korea); and Dundee, Scotland, City Council.

    Gillette is professor of information and communication sciences at Ball State University and a researcher at its Digital Policy Institute. He has written extensively on information technologies and policy, and worked in academic, industry and public policy organizations.

  • Join the newsletter!

    Or

    Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

    Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

    Error: Please check your email address.
    Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

    Jay Gillette

    Network World
    Show Comments

    Father’s Day Gift Guide

    Brand Post

    Most Popular Reviews

    Latest Articles

    Resources

    PCW Evaluation Team

    Luke Hill

    MSI GT75 TITAN

    I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

    Emily Tyson

    MSI GE63 Raider

    If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

    Laura Johnston

    MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

    If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

    Andrew Teoh

    Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

    Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

    Louise Coady

    Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

    The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

    Edwina Hargreaves

    WD My Cloud Home

    I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

    Featured Content

    Product Launch Showcase

    Don’t have an account? Sign up here

    Don't have an account? Sign up now

    Forgot password?