Seoul named smartest city of 2022

  • November 23, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Seoul was named the smart city of 2022 at last week’s Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona.

The South Korean capital won the award to acknowledge the most outstanding initiatives and projects in the innovation and urban transformation industry.

In addition, this year’s edition awarded Kyiv with a special city award recognition for its use of digital services to save lives in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began in February.

The jury comprised representatives from the Barcelona City Council, UN-Habitat, World Bank, EC Mission on Climate Neutral & Smart Cities, and Smart City Expo World Congress.

Seoul is actively promoting digital inclusion policies guaranteeing the five basic digital rights – communication, mobility, education, safety and tech use – 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 Yosik Kang, president of Seoul Digital Foundation. “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.”

Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klitschko took part in the Smart City Expo World Congress to explain how the commitment to digitalisation had allowed them to be more resilient during the war, through apps that notify citizens of air raids and shelter location and help save lives. It received a city award special recognition from the jury.

In the energy and environment category, the award went to a software project developed by TerraGo Technologies for the maintenance and implementation of the public lighting network in Chicago. In the mobility category, the Digi-V traffic digitisation initiative in the German city of Wiesbaden, developed by Yunex Traffic, received an award.

Irish capital Dublin received the governance and economy award for its drone development project, while Amsterdam received an award for its youth cyber-security game HackShield in the security and safety category, and the inclusion award went to the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict), for the city of Atlanta’s artificial intelligence project for inclusive pavements.

Argentinean capital Buenos Aires received the infrastructure and building award for the Ciudad 3D project, a new tool to promote sustainable urban development. In the enabling technologies category, the winner was the Belgian city of Bruges for its smart city data platform, which also involves the cities of Leuven and Roselare.

Two projects tied as winners in the innovation category. The first was AutoSafety Uganda, an initiative to reduce accidents and pollution in the African country developed by Wanyama Autosafety Initiatives. The second winner was the Empowering Cities through Data project of the Indian Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs.

Finally, the leadership award, which is given to individuals and organisations that have promoted the development of smart urban technology at an international level, went to the Emilia Saiz, United Cities & Local Governments general secretary, and Aníbal Gaviria, governor of Antioquia in Colombia.