South Korea’s Land & Housing Corporation (LH) has moved a step closer to building a smart city in the Indian state of Maharashtra after its plans were approved by the local assembly on 6 April.
The approval follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding on 21 March between LH and the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation, the state body that is overseeing the project (pictured). LH now plans to construct the New Kalyan Smart City on a site about 30km east of Mumbai.
The aim is to construct a settlement with a population of 15,000 houses over a 2.5-square-kilometre site about 30km east of Mumbai. The project, which is estimated to be worth about $350m, will be built on land supplied free by the municipal corporation.
LH hopes to receive a planning permission from the Maharashtra government before the end of 2017.
New Kalyan is one of 100 smart cities that India has been planning to build since Narendra Modi’s BJP won the 2014 general election.
India’s building programme coincides with Korea’s drive to export the smart city technology that was pioneered at its own city of Bundang; it also comes after the two countries agreed a strategic partnership during Modi’s visit to Korea in May 2015.
A rendering of South Saad city (Government of Kuwait)
The state-owned Korean company has already concluded one smart city deal worth $4bn for the South Saad Al Abdullah New City in Kuwait. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with Kuwaiti officials in May last year, and planning work began on a settlement of between 25,000 and 40,000 homes over 60-square-kilometres.
Kim Seok-ki, a director of Korea’s Transport Ministry, said of the Kuwaiti project: "It’s the first export of the ‘smart city’ project which has been strongly pushed by the ministry. The economically active population in the Middle East is growing a lot faster than the other regions in the world and we expect that the demand for the new cities will remain high in the region.
"Korean companies will be able to take more major roles in city planning projects in the Middle East further from now on."
According to government officials, Kuwait is working on nine smart cities, for which South Saad Al-Abdulla will serve as a template.
Image: The signing of the memorandum of understanding (Maharashtra State)