Public Service in Seoul: Bringing Municipal Agents and Citizens Together in the Metaverse. Seoul municipality plans to launch its own virtual world tentatively called “Metaverse Seoul” by the end of next year and to create a metaverse-enabled ecosystem for all areas of its municipal administration, such as economy, culture, tourism. , Education and Civic Education Services. This will take place in three stages starting next year, the town hall announces.
Starting with the pilot program of a virtual tourist bell event at Bosingak Bell Tower at the end of 2022, the municipality will subsequently provide various business support facilities and services including the virtual mayor’s office, the Seoul FinTech Lab and the territory attraction structure “Invest Seoul”, as well as the virtual university campus “Seoul Campus Town”, on its metaverse platform.
In 2023 the municipality aims to open a virtual center of public services with the provisional name “Metaverse 120 Center”. Public officials will offer appointments in the form of avatars and a marital status service will be accessible remotely: this experience was therefore only available by physically going to the relevant service within the city of the Hôtel de Seoul. Seoul’s main tourist attractions, such as Gwanghwamun Square, Deoksugung Palace and Namdaemun Market, will be exhibited in the “virtual tourist area” and the disappeared historical assets such as Donuimun Gate will be recreated in this virtual world. Starting in 2023, Seoul’s major festivals, such as the Seoul Lantern Festival, will be held in the metaverse for the enjoyment of all around the world.
The Municipality will also develop services for socially vulnerable people and prevention contents for people with disabilities who use virtual reality. Seoul City Council is putting in place a policy to provide a public service to overcome real-world restrictions posed by travel or time limits, but also to remove the language barrier, inter alia, through the metaverse platform developed with advanced technologies. The Municipality wishes to extend the application of the platform to all areas of its administration.
The municipal services modernization master plan contains 20 projects in seven areas – economy, education, culture and tourism, communication, urban development, administration and infrastructure – which reflect trends and demands for access to virtual worlds in the public and private sectors.
It is one of the main strategies for making Seoul an “emotional city of the future,” as Mayor Oh Se-hoon suggested in Seoul Vision 2030.
More information: Seoul, the first local government to launch a new public service concept with the “Metaverse platform” – Seoul Metropolitan Government (seoul.go.kr)