If you use social media, you must have heard of the “Metaverse“. The Metaverse as an abstract concept has gained popularity in the past few months. People are intrigued by the idea of a virtual world and are eager to interact with other people in the virtually constructed environment.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has identified the people’s interest in the Metaverse. Thus, it became the first city in the world to enter the Metaverse. So, keep reading this article to learn more about the Seoul city Metaverse project.
What is Meta Seoul
The Metaverse is a 3D virtual world where people can interact with others using augmented or virtual reality. And SMG has invested around 3.8 billion dollars in the Metaverse under the Seoul Vision 2030 plan.
Meta Seoul, a virtual replica of Seoul city, will be created under the Seoul Vision 2030 plan. Citizens of Seoul can participate in a range of tourist, educational, civic, economic, and cultural activities in the virtual city. There will be a mayor’s office and business and financial institutions in Meta city.
Users can travel to different cultural and historical sites, attend mass concerts and civic programs, and do shopping in Meta Seoul. In addition, there will also be a university campus in the city where users can study.
The idea behind Meta Seoul is to create a web-like administrative system where everything is connected and available. While the first phase of the Metaverse project has officially started in Seoul, it won’t be fully functional till 2026. But once completed, Meta city is expected to change how people work in the current city.
What is the purpose of Meta Seoul
According to the city’s Mayor, Oh Se-hoon, Meta city is a significant step to increase communication and transparency between citizens and the government. The ‘Metaverse 120 Centre’ that will launch this year will be the heart of this communication grid, where citizens will receive consultations and civil services.
The virtual city will consist of governmental organizations where citizens can access information, file complaints and ask for queries. It will be helpful, especially for senior citizens who face difficulties in going to physical government offices. Thus, Meta Seoul will be one of the key platforms that will bridge the gap between citizens and government officials.
In addition to civic purposes, Meta Seoul will also promote tourism in the city. Users can visit any historical monument or place in the city while relaxing at their homes. The SMG is designing obliterated monuments in Meta city to make the people learn about their lost history.
The SMG will also create “virtual tourist zones” in Meta Seoul, where they will conduct various festivals and events like the Seoul Lantern Festival. Tourist spots like the Deoksugung Palace, the Namdaemun Market, and the N Seoul Tower will also be included in the ‘virtual tourist zones’. Thus, it will also substantially boost tourism in the city.
Other cities that are also working on the Metaverse
While Seoul is first in the race, numerous other cities are also entering the Metaverse. For example, Santa Monica in the US is tapping into the Metaverse to promote the virtual economy. This move will profit the local and small businesses. The city is also designing a replica of the city’s shopping area in the Metaverse for virtual commercial purposes.
In New Rochelle, the Metaverse is showcasing a visual presentation of the changes that will take place in the city. In Wellington, on the other hand, political leaders are developing a project to hold eco-friendly debates in the Metaverse.
And how can China be behind when it comes to the digital world? Shanghai has already developed a virtual city in the Metaverse to run earthquakes, car chases, and other simulations.
Dubai is also developing its twin in the Metaverse to attract tourists and new companies. On the other hand, cities like Brisbane and Singapore are working in the Metaverse to adopt more sustainable city planning. Thus, numerous cities are trying to unlock the endless potential of the Metaverse.
What lies next for The Meta Seoul project
The Meta Seoul project is an ambitious project that has never been planned previously. Considering the mammoth investment made by the SMG, the Meta Seoul project can prove to be a boon or a bane.
South Korea’s President, Yoon Suk-yeol, has termed this project a national priority. Therefore it can be assumed that the government is very serious about developing a Meta Seoul that will promote economic, civic, and cultural activities. Moreover, major South Korean companies like Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom have already established their business in the Metaverse.
However, even though Meta Seoul seems like a real deal, there are still many challenges that the SMG needs to overcome to make this Metaverse project a success. Protection of intellectual property, data, and privacy are a few of the most important challenges that the SMG needs to deal with. Thus, while Meta Seoul is a promising project, only time will tell how successful it will be.