The groundbreaking ceremony for the Busan Eco Delta Smart City (EDC) was held Sunday in Busan with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and ASEAN countries leaders in attendance including Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The ASEAN countries leaders’ participation in the ceremony ahead of the South Korea-ASEAN summit that kicks off Monday reveals their interest in urban infrastructure. Moon also expressed hopes that EDC could serve as a new platform that enables various cooperation with ASEAN countries.
EDC is expected to focus on water management and robotics services such as facility checking, crackdowns on illegal parking and patrols on streets. Purification plants will be also established at the center of the city to directly provide citizens with water using next-generation technology to process rainwater.
Based on the success of the groundbreaking ceremony, South Korea plans to export its smart city related technology and knowhow to ASEAN countries. As their urbanization ratio rose to 48 percent in 2017 from 18 percent in the 1960s, ASEAN countries have been paying increasing attention to an establishment of smart cities.
“The smart city related market is expected to grow to 617.2 billion U.S. dollars (around 692 trillion won) by 2023 around the Asia Pacific region,” said the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. “To lay the foundation for making inroads into ASEAN countries, we will hold a variety of events about smart cities during the period of the summit.”