Last year, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announced that it would install “smart poles” (S-Poles) that not only act as street facilities (i.e., street lights, traffic lights, security lights, CCTV) but also smart infrastructure based on smart urban technology (i.e., public Wi-Fi, smart CCTV, IoT, smart crosswalk).
The city of Seoul, South Korea, has already installed 26 new S-Poles in 6 areas, including Seoul Plaza, Sungnyemun Gate, Cheonggyecheon Stream and more. Each S-Pole has customized functions reflecting the characteristics of the site. They also enhance urban scenery and improve the safety, welfare, and convenience of citizens.
The SMG will expand areas of S-Pole installation and pursue a pilot project to advance their functions at the end of the year. The project is to make advanced S-Poles with new functions of charging drones and electric vehicles and detecting parking violations, bringing the city one step closer to becoming a smart city. Drone stations will be installed on top to charge drones, and S-Poles will send data used for monitoring disasters and rescue. A function of monitoring illegal idling and parking will be added as well.
The S-Poles were born to replace several traditional city technologies such as the aforementioned traffic lights or streetlights, which could have many more features. The installation of S-Poles will lead to the amelioration of urban scenery through the integration of diverse facilities, saving the replacement cost by using the street facilities that have reached changing times, and securing the safety of the facilities. The project also reflects a growing trend for street infrastructure to be multipurpose to minimize visual clutter and use of public space.