South Korea and Gale Build Connected City, Songdo

  • Posted on: 5 February 2012
  • By: Patrick Oliphant

In partnership with private developers Gale International, South Korea is nearing the end of an ambitious $35 Billion project. They have set themselves the task of building a city from scratch with all the essential infrastructure homes, School, offices, hospitals and shopping centres and hotels.  Unlike any of the other Korean cities, ‘Songdo’ will be smart, connected and almost self sufficient.


Songdo is built on an artificial island (on land reclaimed from the Yellow Sea off Incheon) about 56km from Seoul, it is 6 sq km. A 12.3km bridge links Songdo to the new Incheon International Airport on the mainland. Since Songdo started in 2000 things have been relatively quite, but things have are beginning to picked up as completion is schedule for 2016.

Like the Living PlanIT project in Portugal, Songdo in partnership with Cisco is wired up with sensors to monitor and manage the city’s infrastructure.  Sensors are embedded in streets and buildings to monitor everything from temperature to road conditions to help the city run efficiently and react to problems quicker than normal.

The developer said Songdo will have all the essentials of a modern city. For transport and traffic management, RFID (radio frequency identification) tags are on the cars that send data to a central hub identifying black spots and tweaking signals to ease congestion.

The homes will be connected to service providers to monitor the use of electrical appliances such as microwaves to better understand how residents use energy and set the grid to adapt.

TelePresence has been adapted as part of the communication infrastructure. Some of the homes are being fitted with the technology, which will allow them to see each other as they communicate. The Chadwick International School uses the technology to conduct distance learning courses with other classrooms around the world.