- Published: 17 May 2008
The goal of the awards is to increase awareness of the role that broadband communication and information technology play in economic and social development worldwide. Finalists from around the world, as well as senior representatives from governments, businesses and institutions, were on hand.
Intelligent Community of the Year 2008: Gangnam District, Seoul, South Korea
The district contains only 2.5 percent of Seoul's population but produces 25 percent of its gross domestic product. Gangnam's development as an Intelligent Community began in 1995, when the district launched its first "electronic government" project. By 1997, the district had a local area network connecting government offices and a set of tax payment and other applications running on public kiosks. By 1999, the system could process all registrations, permits and other citizen applications electronically. Gangnam converted the system to the Web in 2002, and by 2006 collected 264 billion won (US$280m) in taxes online, 15 percent of the total, and issued 2 million documents to citizens through the Internet or public kiosks. The system has made possible a 25 percent reduction in the local government's employment since 1995, and Gangnam estimates that it has saved citizens time worth 28.5bn won (US$30m).
In 1995, only 1 percent of South Koreans used the Internet. Under strong policies from the national government, private wireline and wireless carriers deployed broadband networks that reached 14 million subscribers (28 percent of South Korea's population) by 2006, ranking the nation fourth in the world. They also enjoy some of the fastest speeds in the world, with 100 Mbps available for as little as 35,000 won (US$37) per month. The district has led the nation in using broadband to make government more transparent, increase citizen participation, and even to help citizens who remained outside the local broadband economy. About 350,000 citizens are registered users of the district's Web portal, and 210,000 are subscribers to an e-mail system that asks for their comment on proposed laws and regulations. In 2005, Gangnam equipped its social service staff with wireless PDAs, enabling them to check information, make reports and request services while visiting clients. In 2006, it launched TV GOV, a set of interactive e-government applications running over the familiar medium of the television set. The system enables users to access services in 34 categories, as well as government news channels, cultural and arts channels, and specialized information for seniors, women and children.
ICF Co-founder and Chairman John G. Jung praised the Intelligent Community of the Year: "Gangnam District started its e-government program before there was an Internet. Through incredible dedication to improving their economy and the lives of their citizens, Gangnam has consistently demonstrated its commitment to building a sustainable broadband economy."
Gangnam District Mayor Jung Ju Maeng accepted the award on behalf of the community.
More information on Gangnam District can be found on the Top Seven Intelligent Communities pages of the ICF Web site.
In late March, ICF named Scot Rourke, president of OneCommunity in Cleveland, Ohio as the Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year for 2008. Rourke was selected based on his groundbreaking work as a social entrepreneur in Northeast Ohio and his willingness to share hard-won lessons in ICT-based economic development with communities across the United States and around the world.
Under Rourke's leadership, OneCommunity forged partnerships with the region's telephone and cable carriers, under which the carriers donated unused fiber-optic circuits to OneCommunity and OneCommunity contracted for last-mile fiber and VPN services from the carriers. The result was an "ultra-broadband" network connecting the major government, institutional and nonprofit users in the region. In recognition of OneCommunity's achievements, the Intelligent Community Forum named Cleveland as one of its Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year in 2006, and honored Northeast Ohio with a Top Seven ranking in 2008.
"ICF exists to identify and share best practices in the development of competitive and inclusive communities in today's Broadband Economy," said ICF Co-Founder and Executive Director Robert Bell. "We are proud to honor Scot's success with OneCommunity, but honor even more his efforts to share the secrets of his success with others."
More on OneCommunity and Scot Rourke can be found on the ICF Web site.
The X-Road Middleware Platform, Tallin, Estonia; Gangnam Academic Aptitude Broadcasting, Seoul, South Korea; Dundee City Council
The ICF Founders Awards identify individuals, applications, organizations and innovations within Intelligent Communities that are transforming life in the broadband economy for the common good. The Founders Awards attempt to identify best practices, sustained programs or inspiring initiatives and give them global recognition through ICF's Intelligent Community of the Year awards program.
The three awards are selected by ICF's founders based on their own study, observations or visits to Intelligent Communities around the world.
The 2008 ICF Founders Awards recipients are:
- X-Road, Tallin, Estonia: As Tallinn continues its "Tiger Leap" toward a truly robust mobile broadband economy, while consolidating dozens of everyday civic, economic and personal applications through the use of a single ID card, there is a need for a platform bridge. In the information technology world, this is called "middleware," because it bridges between the Web and pre-Web systems. Since 1999, Tallinn has invested heavily in IT for government and civic programs, producing a huge number of independent databases and systems in many different departments. To help users in government, business and the public find what they need, the government created X-Road, a middleware platform. X-Road not only allows different systems to talk to each other securely but also includes standard tools to speed the development of new online services. Instead of months and years, X-Road makes it possible to develop new e-government applications in a matter of hours or days. Instead of the usual high cost for developing a new service, X-Road puts complete applications online for between US$1,000 and $10,000. The system has become so successful that it is now the backbone for most e-government services in Estonia. It links 67 databases to provide 687 different services across 392 institutions and companies.
- Gangnam Academic Aptitude Broadcasting, Seoul, South Korea: Korea's reverence for education has few comparisons. Its pursuit of academic excellence and achievement continues to produce one of the world's most exemplary knowledge workforces and "cultures of use." This is most readily witnessed by its leadership in many areas of consumer technology. A significant percentage of the economic and academic GDP which drives Seoul and the small nation of South Korea comes from the academic institutions of the Gangnam-gu District of Seoul. Nationwide the fierce competition to advance to good colleges has created a supply and demand imbalance which has placed a great burden on parents seeking a reliable private education for their children. The cost of schooling, especially in Gangnam, has skyrocketed. Citizens with low income and residents in small cities and farming areas have very limited access to such private education. To address this, Gangnam initiated a visionary project that uses the power of the Internet and its robust broadband infrastructure to enable students nationwide to tap into Gangnam's wealth of academic talent. The Gangnam Academic Aptitude Broadcasting system delivers an affordable education from the community's best lecturers for 20,000 won (US$21).
- Dundee City Council: Because a wide range of new initiatives, such as a digital Discovery Card, "smart" buses, tech incubators and science parks, as well as its new Digital Observatory (which was brought into being specifically to achieve a community goal of making Dundee one of the most advanced "broadband" communities in the world), Scotland's fourth largest community has sought and gained a fundamental economic advantage. This second-time Top Seven Intelligent Community has moved to leadership among Europe's communities as a result of an innovative and pioneering team of leaders within its City Council. The Council is a collaborative and innovative body, whose Digital Observatory strategy is building collaboration among all sectors of the community to deliver a broadband wireless infrastructure to continue to enable Dundee to become a "factory" for information age products and services. The Council's leadership has been the key factor driving the evolution of Dundee from the home of "jute, jam and journalism" to today's innovative and hip community, a national center for "jeans, games and joysticks." Today, nearly 80 percent of Dundee's businesses benefit from e-business. The average increase in profitability from e-business is 10 percent above the national average.
"The Founders Awards represent the innovation and dedication that make these communities leaders in the broadband economy," said Louis Zacharilla, ICF co-founder. "The founders of ICF are fortunate to experience first-hand many of these amazing communities. It is accomplishments such as these that inspire us, and we hope other communities around the world, to dig deeper in pursuit of building a self-sustaining Intelligent Community."
Autor(en)/Author(s): Scot Rourke
Quelle/Source: Government Technology, 16.05.2008