Digital Transformation and Citizens Participation in Seoul

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Smart City Seoul, its Transport Operation and Information System, Citizens Participation and the regeneration of Sewoon Sanga. These were the topics of the multifaceted Workshop on Digital Transformation in Seoul.

On the October 4th, FNF Korea organized a Workshop for civil servants, which work in the general administration of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (FHH). After warm welcoming remarks, Dr. Christian Taaks, the Head of Office of FNF Korea, introduced the work of the foundation and its different projects in North and South Korea. Furthermore he gave some background information about Korea in general and talked about the prospects as well as the challenges of the FNF work.

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It followed a presentation about the Smart City Seoul by two experts of the Seoul Urban Solutions Agency, who gave an interesting overview about Seoul's smart infrastructure, smart services and smart citizens. The participants were impressed by the progressive approaches and the fast transformation of Seoul to a Smart City. The following lively discussion was focused on data protection as well as privacy, and the differences between Hamburg and Seoul were identified and reflected.

For experiencing a practical implementation of the former Workshop, FNF Korea and the Hamburg delegation visited TOPIS, the Seoul Transport Operation and Information Service Center. TOPIS demonstrated the potentiality of new technologies, the impressive surveillance system and the smart coordination of the traffic system in Seoul. The visitors were able to gain a very unique insight into the daily work of the Center.

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As a special highlight, FNF Korea and the Seoul Municipal Council co-organized a roundtable discussion with the FHH delegation. In the meeting with the members of the Administration and Autonomy Committee, the participants exchanged information about citizens’ participation in a local government. They compared the two different Participation Systems of Seoul and Hamburg and talked about their Online Participation Tools.

After the great success of the Workshop, FNF Korea is planning to continue to organize similar Workshops for promoting the exchange between Germany and South Korea around the relevant topic of Digital Transformation.