u-City: The Next Paradigm of Urban Development

u-City: The Next Paradigm of Urban Development

Jong-Sung Hwang (National Information Society Agency, Korea)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-152-0.ch025
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u-City is South Korea’s answer to urban community challenges leveraging ubiquitous computing technology to deliver state-of-the-art urban services. Korea’s experience designing and constructing u-City may be a useful benchmark for other countries. This chapter defines the concept of u-City and analyzes the needs that led Korea to embark on the u-City project ahead of others. It examines the opportunities and challenges that the nation faces in the transition stage. What has enabled Korea to pioneer the u- City concept is the development of IT infrastructure and the saturation of the IT market on the one hand, and the balanced national development strategy on the other hand. Success of u-City requires a national capability of designing forward-looking institutions to enable better cooperation among stakeholders, the establishment of a supportive legal framework and promotion of technology standardization.
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Ubiquitous Computing And U-City

Understanding u-City requires an understanding of ubiquitous computing, which is the platform of u-City. As the term u-City itself is a compound word of ubiquitous computing and city, u-City requires the deployment of ubiquitous IT services in an urban framework first and foremost.

Mark Weiser (1993, p. 1), who coined the concept, defined ubiquitous computing as “the method of enhancing computer use by making many computers available throughout the physical environment, but making them effectively invisible to the user.” The basic idea behind ubiquitous computing was to make computers “autonomous agents that take on our goals” (Weiser, 1993). In other words, ubiquitous computing means embedding computing technologies in our physical surroundings so that virtual and physical objects may deliver services autonomously without human intervention.

Ubiquitous computing has properties totally different from those of conventional information technologies that we have used to date. Conventional IT, or “legacy IT” creates virtual space that exists only in a computer network and works independent of the real world (Weiser, 91; Schmidt, 2002). Of course, human command is needed to control the virtual space. However, ubiquitous computing infuses computers into the real world and renders the distinction between the real and the virtual world meaningless. As the virtual space communicates with the real world, human beings do not have to give any directions or orders. This is the distinction. Legacy IT essentially makes “digital space separated from the real world” whereas ubiquitous computing makes “digital space integrated with the real world.”

Key Terms in this Chapter

u-Health: It is one of ubiquitous computing services, which deliver intelligent and autonomous services based on context-awareness. With the development of sensor technology, u-health service is focusing on monitoring the conditions of client’s health in real time.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification): RFID can identify objects automatically by attaching tags to objects and reading them remotely with RFID readers. This technology is being used for a very wide range of services, including passport and cashcard.

Wibro (Wireless Broadband): This technology enables Internet users to tap into high-speed wireless Internet service while moving fast at a speed of more than 60 km/h. The first commercial service was launched in Korea in 2006.

USN (Ubiquitous Sensor Network): It is a network that enables the collection of information from all types of sensors wirelessly. It installs various types of sensor nodes and monitors condition of target objects in real time.

DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting): DMB is a digital radio transmission system that delivers radio and TV content onto mobile devices like a cellular phone.

u-City: It is an urban development model in the future that will advance urban functions greatly by utilizing ubiquitous computer technologies extensively and embedding intelligence into the urban environment.

Ubiquitous Computing: This concept was introduced in the late 1980s and has been developed under various names such as pervasive computing and ambient intelligence. The basic idea is to make computers autonomous agents that take on our goals.

Complete Chapter List

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Anthony Townsend
Marcus Foth
Marcus Foth
Chapter 1
Amanda Williams, Erica Robles, Paul Dourish
This chapter critically examines the notion of “the city” within urban informatics. Arguing that there is an overarching tendency to construe the... Sample PDF
Urbane-ing the City: Examining and Refining the Assumptions Behind Urban Informatics
Chapter 2
Jaz Hee-Jeong Choi, Adam Greenfield
Once a city shaped by the boundary conditions of heavy industrialisation and cheap labour, within a few years Seoul has transformed itself to one of... Sample PDF
To Connect and Flow in Seoul: Ubiquitous Technologies, Urban Infrastructure and Everyday Life in the Contemporary Korean City
Chapter 3
Nancy Odendaal
Recent literature on African cities examines the way in which social networks function as critical livelihood arteries in the ongoing survival... Sample PDF
Creating an Analytical Lens for Understanding Digital Networks in Urban South Africa
Chapter 4
Wayne Beyea
Community planning is facing many challenges around the world, such as the rapid growth of megacities as well as urban sprawl. The State of Michigan... Sample PDF
Place Making Through Participatory Planning
Chapter 5
Mike Ananny, Carol Strohecker
In this paper, we describe the design and installation of a new kind of public opinion forum—TexTales, a public, large-scale interactive projection... Sample PDF
TexTales: Creating Interactive Forums with Urban Publics
Chapter 6
Jenny Preece
This chapter describes a small networked community in which residents of an apartment building in Washington, D.C., USA supplement their... Sample PDF
An Event-Driven Community in Washington, DC: Forces That Influence Participation
Chapter 7
Fiorella De Cindio
After more than a decade of e-participation initiatives at the urban level, what remains obscure is the alchemy—i.e., the “arcane” combination of... Sample PDF
Moments and Modes for Triggering Civic Participation at the Urban Level
Chapter 8
Michael Veith
Societies face serious challenges when trying to integrate migrant communities. One-sided solutions do not pay tribute to the complexity of this... Sample PDF
Fostering Communities in Urban Multi-Cultural Neighbourhoods: Some Methodological Reflections
Chapter 9
Victor M. Gonzalez, Kenneth L. Kraemer, Luis A. Castro
The practical use of information technology devices in domestic and residential contexts often results in radical changes from their envisioned... Sample PDF
Beyond Safety Concerns: On the Practical Applications of Urban Neighbourhood Video Cameras
Chapter 10
Colleen Morgan
This chapter explores how we may design located information and communication technologies (ICTs) to foster community sentiment. It focuses... Sample PDF
The Figmentum Project: Appropriating Information and Communication Technologies to Animate Our Urban Fabric
Chapter 11
Barbara Crow, Michael Longford, Kim Sawchuk, Andrea Zeffiro
The Mobile Media Lab (MML) is a Canadian interdisciplinary research team exploring wireless communications, mobile technologies and locative media... Sample PDF
Voices from Beyond: Ephemeral Histories, Locative Media and the Volatile Interface
Chapter 12
Helen Klaebe
This chapter defines, explores and Illustrates research at the intersection of people, place and technology in cities. First, we theorise the notion... Sample PDF
Embedding an Ecology Notion in the Social Production of Urban Space
Chapter 13
Vassilis Kostakos, Eamonn O’Neill
In this paper, we describe a platform that enables us to systematically study online social networks alongside their real-world counterparts. Our... Sample PDF
Cityware: Urban Computing to Bridge Online and Real-World Social Networks
Chapter 14
Katharine S. Willis
In our everyday lives, we are surrounded by information which weaves itself silently into the very fabric of our existence. Much of the time we act... Sample PDF
Information Places: Navigating Interfaces between Physical and Digital Space
Chapter 15
Viktor Bedö
This chapter contributes to the ongoing effort to understand the nature of locative urban information by proposing that locative urban information... Sample PDF
A Visual Approach to Locative Urban Information
Chapter 16
Tristan Thielmann
Car navigation systems, based on “augmented reality,” no longer direct the driver through traffic by simply using arrows, but represent the... Sample PDF
Navigation Becomes Travel Scouting: The Augmented Spaces of Car Navigation Systems
Chapter 17
Daisuke Tamada
A lot of street view services, which present views of urban landscapes, have recently appeared. The conventional method for making street views... Sample PDF
QyoroView: Creating a Large-Scale Street View as User-Generated Content
Chapter 18
Hideyuki Nakanishi, Toru Ishida, Satoshi Koizumi
Many research projects have studied various aspects of smart environments including smart rooms, home, and offices. Few projects, however, have... Sample PDF
Virtual Cities for Simulating Smart Urban Public Spaces
Chapter 19
Andrew Hudson-Smith
Digital cities are moving well beyond their original conceptions as entities representing the way computers and communications are hard wired into... Sample PDF
The Neogeography of Virtual Cities: Digital Mirrors into a Recursive World
Chapter 20
Laura Forlano
This chapter introduces the role of community wireless networks (CWNs) in reconfiguring people, places and information in cities. CWNs are important... Sample PDF
Codespaces: Community Wireless Networks and the Reconfiguration of Cities
Chapter 21
Katrina Jungnickel, Genevieve Bell
From WiFi (802.11b) with its fixed and mobile high-speed wireless broadband Internet connectivity to WiMAX (802.16e), the newest wireless protocol... Sample PDF
Home is Where the Hub Is? Wireless Infrastructures and the Nature of Domestic Culture in Australia
Chapter 22
Andres Sevtsuk
This chapter presents the iSPOTS project, which collects and maps data of WiFi usage on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus in... Sample PDF
Mapping the MIT Campus in Real Time Using WiFi
Chapter 23
John M. Carroll
We discuss the vision, plan, and status of a research project investigating community-oriented services and applications, comprising a wireless... Sample PDF
Supporting Community with Location-Sensitive Mobile Applications
Chapter 24
Christine Satchell
Early 21st century societies are evolving into a hybrid of real and synthetic worlds where everyday activities are mediated by technology. The... Sample PDF
From Social Butterfly to Urban Citizen: The Evolution of Mobile Phone Practice
Chapter 25
Jong-Sung Hwang
u-City is South Korea’s answer to urban community challenges leveraging ubiquitous computing technology to deliver state-of-the-art urban services.... Sample PDF
u-City: The Next Paradigm of Urban Development
Chapter 26
Dan Shang, Jean-François Doulet, Michael Keane
This chapter examines the development of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in urban China, focusing mainly on their impact on social... Sample PDF
Urban Informatics in China: Exploring the Emergence of the Chinese City 2.0
Chapter 27
Francesco Calabrese
The real-time city is now real! The increasing deployment of sensors and handheld electronic devices in recent years allows for a new approach to... Sample PDF
WikiCity: Real-Time Location-Sensitive Tools for the City
Chapter 28
Eric Paulos, RJ Honicky, Ben Hooker
In this chapter, we present an important new shift in mobile phone usage—from communication tool to “networked mobile personal measurement... Sample PDF
Citizen Science: Enabling Participatory Urbanism
Chapter 29
Mark Shepard
What happens to urban space given a hypothetical future where all information loses its body, that is, when it is offloaded from the material... Sample PDF
Extreme Informatics: Toward the De-Saturated City
Chapter 30
Roger J. Burrows
Is it still the case that one can symptomatically read the early work of the cyberpunk author William Gibson as a form of prefigurative urban theory... Sample PDF
Urban Informatics and Social Ontology
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