How do Smart Cities Combat COVID-19?

fnf korea

After the COVID-19 outbreak, Korea became the country with the most confirmed cases right after China. Globally connected cities like Seoul are very sensitive to pandemics, still, Korea managed to flatten the curve quickly. The limitation of privacy through smart city technologies has been compensated by almost no intervention in daily life activities. As countries are still fighting the virus, it is important to know how Korea utilizes ICT, AI and big data to deal with COVID-19.

To answer this question, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and the Korean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted a webinar with the title “How do smart cities combat COVID-19?” on the 11th June 2020. The speakers Christine Rim from the SAP Institute for Digital Government (SIDG) and Dr. Sanghoon Lee from the Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement (KAIA) discussed which measurements were taken in response to COVID-19.

After the welcoming remarks of the Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy Seoul, Peter Winkler, Christine Rim started her presentation about SAP’s support to its community in the times of COVID-19. She mentioned the need for information and personal safety in response to the several challenges emerging with the pandemic. Thus, SAP introduced numerous solutions, for instance, an emergency fund and free products.

Dr. Sanghoon Lee from KAIA, followed up with information about Korea’s unique response to COVID-19 with the Smart Management System (SMS), which collects, processes, and analyses a huge volume of urban data to identify the past whereabouts of a patient. This system provides a more time-efficient and convenient process than before.

Dr. Christian Taaks from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom added in his closing speech that Korea’s exemplary reaction to COVID-19 results from the experience with MERS. Hence, mutual learning and cooperation could benefit Germany to combat the virus.

This was the opening program of the Smart City Talks series and FNF is looking forward to the next event.