Korea Innovation 2020: Smart Urban Resilience

"Smart city policies and practices in Korea in the context of Smart Urban Resilience"

The Republic of Korea has undergone various experiences in urban development. Korea had to overcome the ravages of the Korean War in the 1950s, and since the 1960s the country has achieved rapid economic growth. For more than two decades, Korea has accumulated diverse know-how in urban ... view more


Introduction by Maitreyi Das, Practice Manager, World Bank and Sameh Wahba, Global Director, Urban Disaster Risk Management & Land, World Bank 


Opening Remarks by Hyuckjin Kwon, Director General, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT)


Korea Smart Cities R & D Activities & WB Collaboration Agenda by Dr. Youngseong Koo, Research Fellow, Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement (KAIA) with an Introduction by Christoph Pusch, Practice Manager, WB   


How does the World Bank see the challenge of Smart Urban Resilience? Examples and Programs from a Country-level by Elif Ayhan, Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist, World Bank and Naho Shibuya, Disaster Risk Management Specialist, World Bank 


Q & A: How can we balance the benefits of new technology with social resistance to technology adaptation due to the fear of losing jobs? Can Knowledge Exchange initiatives provide a starting point for concrete project initiatives with partner countries? 

About the Presenters

Maitreyi Bordia Das

Practice Manager

Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience, and Land Global Practice

World Bank Group

Maitreyi B. Das is Practice Manager in the World Bank’s Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience, and Land Global Practice. Based in Washington, DC, she works on a set of issues that have to do with reducing inequality and exclusion. Das has worked in areas related to both human development and infrastructure at the World Bank. Of these, social protection, social development, health, urban development, and water and sanitation stand out. Das has led, and been part of, several research and policy initiatives. She was the lead author of the 2013 report, “Inclusion Matters: The Foundation for Shared Prosperity”; the 2015 publication, “Scaling the Heights: Social Inclusion and Sustainable Development in Himachal Pradesh”; and most recently, “The Rising Tide: A New Look at Water and Gender.” Das started her career as a lecturer at St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, has been a MacArthur Fellow at the Harvard Center of Population and Development Studies, and worked as adviser to the United Nations Development Programme. She has a PhD in sociology (demography) from the University of Maryland. Before joining the World Bank, Maitreyi was in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). 

Sameh Wahba

Director - Social, Rural, Urban and Resilience Global Practice

World Bank Group

Sameh Wahba, an Egyptian national, is the Global Director for Urban and Territorial Development, Disaster Risk Management and Resilience at the WBG’s Social, Rural, Urban and Resilience Global Practice, based in Washington D.C, where he oversees the formulation of the World Bank’s strategy and the design and delivery of all lending, technical assistance, policy advisory activities and partnerships at the global level. Prior to this, he was Practice Manager for the Urban and Disaster Risk Management unit in Africa and the Global Urban and Resilience Unit, and he served as Acting Director of Operations and Strategy for the Global Practice. He also worked as Sustainable Development Sector Leader for Brazil, based in Brasilia, and worked as an urban specialist focused on housing, land, local economic development and municipal management and service delivery in Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East and North Africa Regions. Prior to joining the Bank in 2004, he worked at the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies in Rotterdam and at the Harvard Center for Urban Development Studies. He holds a Ph.D. and Masters in urban planning from Harvard University, and a B.Sc and M.Sc in Architectural Engineering from Cairo University. He speaks Arabic, French, English, and Portuguese. Most recently, he co-authored the Bank’s flagship publication, Regenerating Urban Land: A Practitioner’s Guide to Leveraging Private Investment.

Hyuck Jin Kwon

Director General for the Urban Policy Bureau

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport of Korea MOLIT

Hyuck Jin Kwon is the Director General for the Urban Policy Bureau. Kwon worked for the Office of the President (2017–19) as a senior official responsible for housing and railway policy. His earlier careers inside the ministry include the Director of Railway Policy Division (2016–17), Director of Housing Policy Division (2014–16), Director of General Policy Planning Division (2013–14), Director of Housing Construction and Supply Division (2012–2013), and Director of Overseas Construction Division. Kwon received an MBA degree in real estate from the University of Wisconsin (2003). From Yonsei University of Korea, he received a master’s degree (1996) and bachelor’s degree (1993), both in economics.

Christoph Pusch

Practice Lead - Africa Disaster Risk Management, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience (SURR) Global Practice

World Bank Group

Christoph Pusch is the Practice Lead for Africa Disaster Risk Management at the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience (SURR) Global Practice. During his career at the World Bank Group, which he joined in 1998, he designed and oversaw the implementation of large-scale climate and disaster risk management operations in Africa, South Asia, and Europe and Central Asia. This included multi-sector damage and needs assessments and the preparation of emergency recovery loans in response to catastrophic events such as the Marmara earthquake in Turkey, the Asian tsunami in Sri Lanka and India, and the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Christoph also led large-scale risk mitigation programs in India and provided advisory services to the government of China immediately after the Wenchuan earthquake. He led the preparation of the Africa Disaster Risk Management Strategic Framework 2016-2020. He also manages the technical assistance program for disaster management and climate change in more than 20 African countries. Prior to joining the Africa Region in April 2013, he was the Deputy Manager of the WBG’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).

Youngseong Koo

Research Fellow

Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement

Youngseong Koo is currently a Research Fellow at Smart City Innovation Center at Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement (KAIA). Serving as a Director in the Strategic Planning Division, Infrastructure Division, and Plant Division, Koo plays a role in making an R&D roadmap, policy development, and R&D management. Before joining KAIA in 2005, he managed several private investment infrastructure projects and designed bridge structures as a professional engineer in local firms. Koo received a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 2005. Koo also graduated from Seoul National University of Korea with a Master’s degree (1994) and a Bachelor’s degree (1991) in Civil and Environmental engineering.

Elif Ayhan

Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist

World Bank Group

Elif Ayhan is a Civil engineer who holds a Master's degree in Structural and Earthquake engineering. She started her career as a Technical Auditor at the inspection board of a public bank in Turkey which financed urban housing projects. Following devastating 1999 earthquakes, she was invited to be a member of the Prime Ministry Crises Management Center and contributed to establishing a new disaster risk management system in Turkey. She worked as a Deputy Director at the Prime Ministry Project Implementation Unit which implemented disaster recovery, reconstruction and risk reduction projects with national and international resources including the World Bank, European Union, European Investment Bank, and Gulf Funds. For the last ten years, she has been with the Bank in various capacities, including leading urban development, municipal services, land, and disaster risk management projects. Among other operations, as a Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist, she is also the task team leader for the National Disaster Risk Management Program and the Disaster Risk Management Policy Loan with a Catastrophe - Deferred Drawdown Option (CAT-DDO) in Serbia.

Naho Shibuya

Disaster Risk Management Specialist

World Bank Group

Naho Shibuya is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist at the World Bank. As a Chartered Water and Environmental Manager, she helps countries build resilience against natural disasters with a focus on resilient infrastructure. Prior to joining the Bank, Naho provided advisory services to multilateral development banks, commercial lenders, private investors, manufacturers, and civil contractors in developing and delivering sustainable infrastructure PPPs in the Asia Pacific region. Naho holds an MSc in Sustainability Science from the University of Tokyo and a Bachelor of Arts from Arizona State University.​