According to the Ministry of Science & ICT of South Korea, the Presidential Committee on the Forth Industrial Revolution recently organized a special committee on smart city. The special committee has 18 private-sector members specialized in telecom, system integration, urban engineering, architecture, energy, transportation, sharing economy, and big data.
The South Korean government is currently working on a so-called fourth industrial revolution revolving around people. It is in this context that the special committee covers sharing economy. Examples of the concept include the car sharing service of Seoul City launched in 2013 in partnership with local car sharing service providers such as SoCar and Green Car. At present, more than 6,000 people are using the electric vehicle sharing service of Seoul City on an average day.
“An economic system in which people share information and network with one another via portals, SNS and the like is evolving into one in which tangible and intangible assets are traded,” said the KT Economic Management Institute, adding, “Transaction costs related to sharing are falling and new types of jobs are being created with the development of ICT platforms.”
These days, an increasing number of retirees are sharing their residential spaces with inbound tourists via Airbnb. In Uber, those in their 50s and older, full-time housewives, and even hearing-impaired persons are working as drivers. They can be referred to as platform workers. “Existing labor laws need to be reviewed and statistics should be compiled to cover new types of workers such as platform workers,” Minister of Employment & Labor Kim Young-joo remarked.
Companies like Fast Five are facilitating office sharing in Seoul with the concept becoming increasingly popular in New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and so on as well. In addition, Fast Five’s office sharing service is not simply for monthly sublease but also for app- and O2O-based information exchange among members. This means those in their 20s to 40s have a significant preference for value-centered sharing and, as such, future smart cities should be based on sharing economy.
Experts point out that data obtained from O2O services in the framework of sharing economy is very useful for designing smart cities. This is why the special committee is looking into sharing economy in working on big data-based city management systems. This year, Uber made public its city-specific traffic data on the Uber Movement website. Policymakers can design traffic routes and road infrastructure by utilizing the big data consisting of approximately two billion pieces.
Likewise, the Singaporean government recently established the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) to build smart city infrastructure, collect and analyze public transportation data in real time, better control traffic flows, and develop 3D geographic information-based urban planning. “We are going to suggest agendas with the focus laid on policy results rather than policy means as in a foreign city’s recent smart city slogan to return one hour to every citizen,” the special committee explained.