Smart city strategies—Technology push or culture pull? A case study exploration of gimpo and Namyangju, South Korea

Seunghwan Myeong, Younhee Kim, Michael J. Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study aims to address strategies, models, and the motivation behind smart cities by analyzing two smart city project cases in medium-sized cities, i.e., Gimpo and Namyangju in South Korea. The case of Smartopia Gimpo represents a top-down, infrastructure-focused smart city innovation that invested in building state-of-the-art big data infrastructure for crime prevention, traffic alleviation, environmental preservation, and disaster management. On the other hand, Namyangju 4.0 represents a strategy focused on internal process innovation through extensive employee training and education regarding smart city concepts and emphasizing data-driven (rather than infrastructure-driven) policy decision making. This study explores two smart city strategies and how they resulted in distinctively different outcomes. We found that instilling a culture of innovation through the training of government managers and frontline workers is a critical component in achieving a holistic and sustainable smart city transformation that can survive leadership changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-53
Number of pages13
JournalSmart Cities
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Urban Studies

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