Special Report (Vol. 44)
Special Report Vol. 44 (2018)
DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES OF SMART CITY INFRASTRUCTURE FOR URBAN REGENERATION
Chapter I. Overview of Research
1. Background and Objectives
2. Research Objective
3. Research Data
Chapter II. Smart Cell Concept
1. What Is a Smart Cell?
2. Setup of Mobile Big Data
3. Characteristics of Mobile Big Data
Chapter III. Spatial Distribution of Human Activity Centers
1. Human Activity in Seoul Metropolitan Area: Shifting Centers of Gravity
2. Distribution of Active Population in Gangnam-gu: Place of Residence
3. Changing Centers of Activity in Neighborhood Facilities
Chapter IV. Use of Smart Cells in Emergency Planning
1. Central Points of Activity: Age and Time Distribution
2. Spatial Distribution for Different Age Groups
3. Distribution of Emergency Shelters in Jongno-gu
4. Analysis of Extreme Heat Scenario
Chapter V. Implications for Developing Countries
The operational definition of a smart cell and the process of producing information
about smart cells can be understood as follows for the purposes of this study. A smart
cell is the minimum unit of territory in which individual spatial information (e.g., personal
characteristics and location) is identifiable in real time.
Smart cells can track the behavior of individuals through space by means of lines
(representing movement) and dots (representing individuals), which can be seen moving
in and out of smart cells. Data for this purpose are collected by mobile phone base
stations and processed by wireless service carriers.
Smart cells have a number of applications in transportation and spatial planning policy,
as data from smart cells are scalable and can thus be extrapolated to different spatial
hierarchy levels such as towns and regions.
This research sought to analyze activity in the Seoul metropolitan area along gender and
age lines at different times of the day. The central focus of activity in the city was found
to shift over the course of a day, from Seoul’s south side at 7 a.m. to north side by noon,
and back south again by 6 p.m.
On the demographic distribution for age groups, the analysis showed greater activity in
southern Seoul among men, whereas women were more active in the city center.
This study tracked human activity in real time in Gangnam-gu (ward), an upscale and
busy area in southern Seoul, using mobile big data generated by smart cells. Human
activity, the survey found, was highly concentrated near subway stations, especially
Gangnam and Yeoksam. Weekend activity was also monitored in and around Seoul
Land, one of the capital region’s most popular amusement parks, and parking lots saw
peak levels of congestion Saturdays between noon and 3 p.m.
Smart cells are likely to prove extremely helpful in the event of a natural disaster or
other emergency thanks to its ability to provide real-time information on human activity
in a specific location, including the number of people and their precise coordinates.
This study evaluated the utility of smart cells in a hypothetical disaster scenario in which
an extreme heat wave hits Jongno-gu, an administrative ward in central Seoul. In the
event of a predictable, slow-occurring disaster such as extreme heat wave, smart cells
have applications in three stages: the advance warning stage, in which authorities issue
an excessive heat advisory and urge appropriate precautions; the emergency stage, in
which they prepare to evacuate people in high-risk areas; and the evacuation stage.
The scenario analysis demonstrates that smart cells can be used in developing countries
in the following four ways:
First, smart cells can help build statistical databases for the purpose of better
understanding population trends and the habits of the economically active population.
Developing countries tend to lack basic statistical data on such matters because of
budget constraints and underdeveloped social institutions. As this study shows, wireless
carriers’ databases and mobile big data can possess significant information about human
activity in any country with a high rate of mobile phone penetration. By using smart cells
to gather basic social statistics that could otherwise be obtained only through surveys,
developing countries stand to save significant time and costs.
Smart cells also enable spatial planners to implement policies at different levels within
the spatial hierarchy (e.g., nation, region or city). National territorial policy transcends
boundaries such as those between new and old city centers. Smart cells can help achieve
policy objectives at different levels in the spatial hierarchy; it commands high value for
macro spaces such as countries and regions, as well as micro spaces such as towns and
Smart cells also have business applications. Merchants who wish to start small
businesses can preemptively use the data to reduce their risk of failure. Equipped with
a clearer understanding of trends in human activity in a given area, entrepreneurs can
be better prepared to serve their potential markets. In developing countries, many
new entrepreneurs have recently moved to large cities and lack knowledge about their
respective markets. Information obtained through smart cells can prove indispensable
for such a purpose.
Furthermore, smart cells can be incorporated into disaster prevention and response
systems. Mobile big data is a mobile phone-based system of automatic data collection
that enables constant monitoring of the number of people in a given area who are
especially vulnerable to a natural or social disaster. Continuous monitoring is an
effective tool for disaster prevention in regions at high risk of natural or social disaster.
Developing countries with insufficient databases for basic statistics can use smart cells
in the event of a disaster to forecast the number of casualties and devise effective
responses. In the event of a disaster, this technology can send to emergency response
teams highly reliable information in a timely fashion to expedite the decision-making
process and minimize casualties.
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