Seoul crowned smart city of the year at Barcelona Expo

The capital of South Korea, Seoul, has been named as Smart City of 2022 at the World Smart City Awards at Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) taking place in Barcelona.

The Ukrainian capital of Kyiv received a special City Award in recognition of its use of digital services to save lives in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began in February.

Earlier this week, Kyiv mayor, Vitaliy Klitschko, took part in the Smart City Expo World Congress to explain how the commitment to digitalisation has allowed them to be more resilient during the war, through apps that notify citizens of air raids and shelter location and help save lives.

Urban transformation

The awards acknowledge the most outstanding initiatives and projects in the innovation and urban transformation industry.

The Jury of Honour comprised of representatives from the Barcelona City Council, UN-Habitat, the World Bank, the EC Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities, and Smart City Expo World Congress, awarded the South Korean capital for its Smart Seoul platform.

The platform actively promotes digital inclusion policies guaranteeing the five basic digital rights – communication, mobility, education, safety, and tech utilisation – and providing digital services tailored to the socially vulnerable.

It is a great honour to be selected as winner city at these prestigious awards,” said the president of Seoul Digital Foundation, Yosik Kang. “It is particularly meaningful as it awards Seoul’s smart city policy. We hope this can give strength to the citizens of Seoul who are struggling after the Itaewon crowd crush.”

The other award winners are:

Energy & Environment: TerraGo Technologies for the maintenance and implementation of the public lighting network in the US city of Chicago.

Mobility: Digi-V traffic digitisation initiative in the German city of Wiesbaden, developed by the Yunex Traffic.

Governance & Economy: City of Dublin for its drone development project.

Security & safety: Amsterdam for its youth cybersecurity game HackShield.

Inclusion: the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict) for the city of Atlanta’s artificial intelligence project for inclusive pavements.

Infrastructure & Building: Buenos Aires for the Ciudad 3D project, a new tool to promote sustainable urban development.

Enabling Technologies: the Belgian city of Bruges for its Smart City Data platform, which also involves the cities of Leuven and Roselare.

Innovation category: joint winners are AutoSafety Uganda, an initiative to reduce accidents and pollution in the African country developed by Wanyama Autosafety Initiatives and Empowering Cities through Data project by the Indian Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

The leadership award, which recognises individuals and organisations that have promoted the development of smart urban solutions at an international level, went to the Emilia Saiz, UCLG – United Cities and Local Governments General Secretary, and Aníbal Gaviria, the Governor of Antioquia (Colombia).