Smart City Workshop
Smart City Workshop: Rethinking “Smart Cities” – Urbanism Beyond Technology

Sven Gerst is giving a presentation

The "Smart City Workshop: Rethinking “Smart Cities- Urbanism Beyond Technology" took place from August 23th to 25th at the historic Oil Tank Culture Park in Seoul, led by Sven Gerst, a renowned international facilitator and moderator. Participants, comprising Asian experts in the smart city industry, academics, and institutions, delved into the essence of smart cities, examining their impact on well-being and sustainability. Participants also explored theoretical and practical aspects, including venue inspections and discussions about the future of smart cities.

The three-day workshop started on August 23rd. During the first day, participants engaged in discussions centered around the concept and the essence of a smart city. Questions surfaced: What defines smart in the "smart city" concept? And, fundamentally, what does it mean when we contemplate the idea of a city? Often, the emphasis is placed solely on the 'smart' or 'intelligent' aspects, but this workshop sought to explore the very essence of what constitutes a city. To achieve this, participants examined how urban living can impact the well-being of its residents.

Field Trip

On the second day, August 24th, participants embarked on a venue inspection at the Oil Tank Culture Park in Mapo-gu, Seoul, a historic site formerly used as an oil depot. This provided them with an opportunity to discover the potential for sustainable utilization of old industrial spaces. Subsequently, Tristan Cleveland, Urban Planner & Research Specialist from Canada introduced his "Happy-Cities" concept, fostering a discussion among participants about how a city can be transformed to enhance the overall happiness of its citizens. Furthermore, participants went on a field visit to the Digital Media City under the guidance of Dr. Jina Park, Program Director of Korea Agency for Infrastructure and Technology Advancement (KAIA). Here, they engaged in vibrant exchanges of ideas, putting their newly acquired theoretical knowledge into practice through discussions.

Group work

On the third and final day, August 25th, participants collaborated on group work. They explored questions about the shape and nature of future smart city initiatives, discussing what future smart city projects should look like or how the debate about the concept of "smart city" should be handled. While most of the participants are already working as experts in the smart city field, the workshop underscored the value of approaching this concept from a theoretical standpoint. It encouraged attendees to look beyond the label "smart" and consider what it truly means to inhabit a "city," or even better, a "happy city."

Group Picture