Destination Songdo

After years of reading about Songdo near Seoul as one of the most prominent case studies for applied smart city technologies, I finally had a chance to put foot onto its pavements and parks. While this greenfield city impresses for the fact that its land was reclaimed from the Yellow Sea, it struck me that the “smart” aspect remains invisible to the visitor’s eye. The Hidden Picture Puzzle gave away two clues: trying to dispose of an empty coffee paper cup, a smart bin stubbornly remained closed, as Sesame only opens its doors to those locals who know the secret pin. Raising my gaze, a huge electronic billboard informed me that I should worry about the air I breathe, by providing me with up to date visualised percentages of pollutants. Until 5pm, streets and pedestrian places were absolutely empty. Some of the neighbourhoods, uninhabited, remained empty even after end of school and work.  I have recorded the ambivalent mood in Songdo with my KODAK360 cam.