JAKARTA, Indonesia — May 9, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. will play a key role in creating a ubiquitous computing environment for future citizens and businesses of Songdo International Business District (IBD). The city of the future is currently under construction in Incheon just 40 miles southwest of Seoul, South Korea. Songdo will be the first “new” city in the world designed and planned as an international business district. Microsoft has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Gale International, the developer responsible for the $35 billion (U.S.) project, to collaborate to deliver technology and infrastructure and create a cutting-edge, digitally connected and environmentally sustainable city for the benefit of citizens, businesses and government.
“Designing an entirely new city from the ground up provides a unique opportunity to create an ideal technological infrastructure in which access to digital capabilities and experiences is an inherent part of the living and working environment across people’s lives,” said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, in a keynote address at the Government Leaders Forum—Asia in Jakarta, Indonesia. “Microsoft is pleased to join with Gale International, which is working closely with the governments of Korea and Incheon and the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority to help turn this exciting vision into reality.”
Microsoft, Gale International and the Korean government are working to identify the technological requirements of this state-of-the-art project. Plans include providing a common interface to connecting to government services via Windows Mobile and the Microsoft Citizen Service Platform, as well as the implementation of technologies that empower this LEED-Neighborhood Development certified city and the use of tools such as the upcoming Microsoft Surface combined with Virtual Earth to provide greater access via kiosks to information on the city as an international gateway to residents and visitors.
“I am very glad to have Microsoft as one of the major technology partners for the ubiquitous connectivity of Songdo IBD, a part of the Incheon Free Economic Zone,” said Heon-Seok Lee, commissioner of the Free Economic Zone Authority. “I am confident that Microsoft’s technologies will successfully make Songdo IBD a cutting-edge technology-enabled city, which will accelerate Incheon Free Economic Zone’s city development and investment promotion.”
The MOU announced today is a comprehensive expansion of an existing collaboration between the various parties focused on the Educational Excellence in Technology Initiative to link students, parents, educators, academic institutions, local industry and government partners in a shared vision of how students and workers can reach their potential through technology skills training in a global context. Specifically, the original agreement outlines the integration of the Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum and Microsoft IT Academy into the Songdo International School, which will be Asia’s most modern private preparatory school. It will be available there both in the school curriculum and in after-hours adult education for local citizens.
“I am glad to be able to extend and enhance our alliance with Microsoft, which further deepens and broadens our collaborative efforts with the world’s leading IT company,” said Stanley C. Gale, chairman and partner of Gale International. “I am very confident that Microsoft will help Songdo IBD set an example for other cities around the world.”
Songdo IBD, the “Gateway to Northeast Asia,” is the first new city in the world designed and planned as an international business district. This 100 million-square-foot, master-planned metropolis located within the Incheon Free Economic Zone will be connected to the Incheon International Airport, one of the world’s busiest, by a new 7.4-mile bridge and linked by subway to Seoul. It is estimated that when complete in 2015, Songdo IBD will be home to 65,000 people and that 300,000 will work there.
Songdo IBD will offer every conceivable amenity, including a world-class hospital, an international preparatory school, museums and the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea. Songdo IBD will be 40 percent green space, featuring a 100-acre Central Park. It is being designed and constructed to ensure long-term environmental sustainability, thus minimizing the city’s carbon footprint. Songdo IBD was recently named a “green urbanism” pilot project by the U.S. Green Building Council. More information can be found at http://www.songdo.com.
About Gale International
Gale International is a premier international real estate investment and development company with headquarters in New York and offices in Boston; Irvine, California; Seoul and Songdo, South Korea.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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