Seoul's double in the metaverse is designed to simplify citizens' lives


Visitors looking at the city from Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea. Starting in 2030, the city plans to organise many events in the metaverse, such as the Lantern Festival. — AFP

The municipality of Seoul has launched a major project to create a digital model of its city and administration in order to offer optimised services in the metaverse. The idea is to be able to improve the daily life of inhabitants and allow anyone throughout the world to take advantage of the city's assets by immersing themselves in this virtual representation of the South Korean metropolis.

Called "Metaverse Seoul," the project concerns all areas of its municipal administration. It combines both the concept of a digital twin, which consists in recreating, in digital form, an existing infrastructure including an entire city, and virtual reality.

The goal is to make the city even more "intelligent" and its services easily accessible to all. Starting in 2023, some of the city's administrative services will be accessible through the metaverse. Users will be able to create an avatar and explore various city hall departments in virtual form. Eventually, the goal is to allow everyone to access information on education, tax collection or filing complaints. The project aims to make it easier for citizens to connect with government services and not have to worry about constraints of time, location and language.

Beyond the administrative aspect, "Metaverse Seoul" intends to take advantage of what a digital twin allows, for instance, the project will also improve the size and layout of various public infrastructures, the safety of residents as well as real-time fire monitoring. In the future, the project will also offer virtual coworking spaces to allow employees to work remotely as if they were in a real office.

Starting in 2030, the city plans to organise many events in the metaverse, such as the Lantern Festival, so that anyone, anywhere in the world, can participate. It also intends to make it possible to visit certain districts and museums in order to promote its tourist attractiveness.

Through this vast project, Seoul is aiming to become the first major metropolis to take advantage of the possibilities offered by the metaverse - both those already established and those yet to emerge. Indeed, the South Korean capital is already at the forefront of connectivity, with an efficient, extensive 5G network as well as more than 100,000 WiFi access points available in the city.

While this is the first time a major city has embarked on a project of this magnitude, others are already using a digital twin. For example, Las Vegas has developed a sort of 3D clone of its downtown area, designed to simulate different scenarios in order to reduce its CO2 emissions and improve the sustainability of its transportation and buildings. – AFP Relaxnews

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