First Abu Dhabi announced the ultra-sustainable Masdar City, and now South Korea has decided to build its own self-sufficient city, dubbed Sejong City or the Multifunctional Administrative City (MAC). The MAC, located 100 miles south of Seoul, is slated for completion by 2020.
The $14.6 billion city wasn’t always meant to be a model of sustainability. When it was first planned in 2005, the MAC was supposed to house a number of ministries and public agencies–hence the name. But the government decided it would be a waste of national resources, and so the current model of Sejong City was born.
Sejong City is envisioned as a hub of education and science. The government is already planning on building the Korea Rare Isotope Accelerator, the Basic Science Research Institute, and the Convergence Research Center in the city by 2015. And the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Korea University plan on constructing research campuses in the city as well. On the electronics front, companies including Hanwha, Woongjin, Lotte, and Samsung are setting up shop in Sejong. Eventually, South Korean officials hope to have a quarter million jobs available in the city. It’s not that big of a stretch–private sector businesses have agreed to hire 23,000 workers with a decade to go before the city is finished.
Sejong City will be considerably larger than Masdar City, which will house just 40,000 residents when all is said and done. But we still hope that the two cities are the start of a larger movement. With so much cash being poured into clean energy technology, surely there must be room for another Sejong or Masdar.