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Songdo (formerly known as New Songdo) is an evolutionary city being built in South Korea. It has been designed from the ground up with built in ubiquititous technology and computer networking. The financial backers supporting this new techno-utopia seem to hope it can become an economic hub to rival Hong Kong as well as set new standards for sustainable urban engineering and community planning.

Songdo – [songdo.com]

New Songdo City, South Korea – [rfidsoup.pbworks.com]

New Songdo City is a master-planed “Ubiquitous City” being built on a 1,500 acre man-made island off South Korea’s Incheon coast about 40 miles from Seoul. It is billed as “a city designed around one thing: the people who will live and work here. People who will experience an unparalleled quality of life as technology, resources and innovation all come together to create the ideal environment” (www.songdo.com).

Mr. John Kim, vice president for strategy at New Songdo City Development, envisions a central role for residents’ smart cards: “The same key can be used to get on the subway, pay a parking meter, see a movie, borrow a free public bicycle and so on. It’ll be anonymous, won’t be linked to your identity, and if lost you can quickly cancel the card and reset your door lock” (O’Connell, 2006).

A Visit to Incheon, South Korea’s New Songdo City: Green City of the Future? – [commoncurrent.com]

Songdo is quickly taking shape as a city of the future because it will be digitally wired and controlled in terms of systems management, which includes everything from waste to energy use. In my five-star Sheraton Hotel room, for instance (opened August 1), not only did my room entry card activate and de-activate all lights and appliances when I entered or left–a feature common in European hotels and woefully absent from the antiquated US hospitality industry–it also turned on or shut off the room’s cooling system.

Very Smart Cities – [forbes.com]

Residents will be able to chat with their children’s teachers, consult doctors and apply for city permits and licenses via flat screen monitors in their apartments. Buildings will be intelligent enough to guide cars to available parking spots and queue up elevators as people approach. Hotels will recognize regular guests and automatically adjust room system settings.

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