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Seoul: From a smart megacity to a metaverse city

In the context of the explosion of the metaverse digital universe, the Korean capital boldly pioneered the smart urban plan Metaverse Seoul.

In November 2021, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (Korea) announced a plan to develop an integrated platform to conduct public services such as tourism , education , cultural experiences and civic services. This is the first time the metaverse has been announced as a smart city initiative.

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Seoul pioneers metaverse city initiative

City Hall, virtual financial space

According to the Metaverse Seoul plan, the Seoul government will open the “Metaverse 120 Center” (tentative name) – a virtual public administration center – in 2023. Here, public officials in the metaverse environment will provide provides consulting services and solves civil problems – things that have always had to come in person at the City Hall.

Not only that, a number of virtual spaces serving the fields of business , financial technology (fintech)… were also formed.

Build tourist and festival sites on the metaverse

Besides forming virtual spaces for public administration and economic -financial development, the Metaverse Seoul plan also builds a number of famous tourist attractions and historical sites in Seoul on the metaverse platform.

Places can be mentioned such as Gwanghwamun Square, Deoksugung Palace, Namdaemun Market…, or even lost historical works like Donuimun Gate – one of the four small gates to the Hancheng, which was destroyed in 1915. .

Seoul: From a smart megacity to a metaverse city - photo 2
Gwanghwamun Square and many popular tourist attractions will be available on Metaverse SeoulH.DAT

In addition, typical cultural festivals of the capital Seoul will be held on Metaverse Seoul.

During the last New Year’s Eve in 2022, the Bosingak New Year bell ringing festival was held simultaneously on a digital platform. Not only was it an experiment, but putting Bosingak on the metaverse also helped limit mass gatherings during the Covid-19 epidemic situation in Seoul at that time.

Starting from 2023, many other representative cultural festivals of Seoul will also be held on Metaverse Seoul.

Many opportunities, but still challenges

Not stopping at solving public administrative issues in the virtual space, Metaverse Seoul also opens up many opportunities to widely promote the image, culture and people of the country of kimchi internationally through access to tourists in virtual space.

However, the metaverse city will face certain challenges. With prices around $300-$600 and low popularity, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices will need a few more years to become more common.

In addition, security and privacy protection are also concerns, requiring a clear mechanism to ensure the safety of users in the virtual space.