3 - “Smart city” in South Korea

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The planning of a “smart city” in Songdo (South Korea): reflexion on the temporality of an urban mega project

Through a critical cultural geography perspective, this conference analyses the development of Songdo new city (Songdo sin dosi), a South Korean urban mega-project built from scratch and planned to be a “smart city” – defined as a city experimenting with large-scale digital tools. Based on ethnography of Songdo developers and dwellers, following Henri Lefebvre’s theory of space (1974), this analysis interrogates the complex temporality of such a mega-project. In the promotional brochures made by developers, such as IFEZ (Incheon Free Economic Zone), Songdo is always described as a futuristic smart place, which is almost ready to be inhabited. However, on the ground, the city is slowly taking shape and the inhabitants have started moving in since 2008. Accordingly, how do developers actually conciliate a futuristic urban perception with the building of a city that is already inhabited? How do residents of Songdo accommodate with a city in construction? And finally, how is the “smartness” appearing in the residents’ daily life? By focusing on the temporal discrepancies between the planning and the urban perception, this analysis aims to show that the smart city experienced by the residents exists mostly through their smartphone.

= Urban Experimentation Webinar 3 =

00:00 Introduction
01:45 The planning of a “smart city” in Songdo (South Korea): reflexion on the temporality of an urban mega project
57:43 Question and Answer part
01:18:29 General conclusion

Program of the webinar: https://oggc.hypotheses.org/experimentations-urbaines/programme

FFJ Website: http://ffj.ehess.fr/

Speaker: Suzanne Peyrard (CRC-CCJ, EHESS)
Discussant: Alexandre Faure (FFJ, EHESS)
Production/Post-production: Céline Caliaro, Fabien Michel

Fondation France-Japon de l'EHESS © 2021
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