Seoul Opens ICT Experience Center at Gwanghwamun Square Preceding 100th National Sports Festival

For fifteen days, from March 15 (Friday) to March 30 (Saturday), the public will have access to the 100th National Sports Festival and the 39th National Para Games in advance at the west Gwanghwamun Square Seoul will operate the ICT (Information & Communication Technology) Experience Center with National Sports Festival PR booths, a robot café, a 5G escape mission room, a VR (virtual reality) game zone, and more. There will be nine experience contents available at the center.

First, the National Sports Festival PR booth will introduce the symbol of the competition, the history of the National Sports Festival, and star athletes discovered through the National Sports Festival. Those taking part at the booth while uploading pictures and SNS posts will receive National Sports Festival souvenirs.

At the Sports Zone, everyone receives firsthand experience of festival events – baseball, shooting, and archery – through wireless VR devices to enable the public to enjoy new experiences as if actually partaking in the National Sports Festival.

The 5G Mission Room will feature games, including spot the differences and finish the sentence, as well as trampoline jumping, “proof shot” photo-taking, and other missions given in each room to solve as part of the escape room game format.

The center will also feature eye-catching experiential content that constructively utilizes robots, AR, and other new technology. The Technology Zone will provide smart detection technology, like the integrated control system that uses a 360-degree CCTV and AI convergent fire prevention technology, a robot arm that expresses given phrases in calligraphy, and AR support technology that utilizes glass with AR technology. There will also be a guide robot that offers a tour of the National Sports Festival, the robot café where robots provide beverages, a robot that draws portraits, and other state-of-the-art technology, amid performances by popular singers, and prize drawing for visitors.

In addition to all this, Seoul will host various events like the National Sports Festival Photography and Relics Exhibition, performances wishing for the success of the event, and more, in hopes of arousing public interest about the upcoming 100th National Sports Festival in October.

Seoul Opens ICT Experience Center at Gwanghwamun Square Preceding 100th National Sports Festival
100th National Sports Festival ICT Experience Center
National Sports Festival PR Booth
National Sports Festival VR Sports Zone

Seoul’s Noksapyeong Station Garden Transforms into an Art Gallery

Noksapyeong Subway Station transformed into an art gallery with a garden where public artworks, natural light, and plants merge together. The wicket that was on the second basement floor was moved to the fourth floor basement to open the entire subway station space to the public, from basement levels 1-4, excluding the platform.

The unique and beautiful architecture of Noksapyeong Station was constructively utilized for artworks display and an underground garden, from the station entrance to the fifth floor basement with the platform.

Along the entire inner wall of Noksapyeong Station’s large, 35-meter trademark courtyard, or main hall, will hang a thin metal curtain to reflect the sunlight shining in through the glass ceiling dome of the central courtyard, while the inside of the station will be made into a giant canvas that encompasses lights in a constantly changing motion. The lights will change while riding the escalator to create a sense of space transformation.

In the fourth floor basement waiting room, previously neglected despite being an open area, artworks based on forest theme are awaiting visitors. From the ceiling hangs knitted, aluminum wires that create an atmosphere similar to a tunnel filled with vegetation with one side containing installation artworks resembling the pine tree trails of Namsan Mountain. The innermost space, the fifth floor basement platform, is filled with works showcasing the docile, warm coloring of colored pencils that brighten the unwelcoming atmosphere of the platform.

The empty circular hall on the fourth floor basement transformed into a plant garden with over 600 different plants. In addition to being a space of seeing and healing, gardeners will cultivate plants, amid a series of gardening programs, in which the public may freely participate.

The Noksapyeong Station Underground Art Garden is composed of public artworks by seven global artists and local intermediate and rising artists, an underground plant garden, and public facilities, including a gallery and seminar room.

The Underground Plant Garden was created underground at a depth reaching the height of an 11 story building, located at the fourth floor basement’s circular hall. The natural light that penetrates through the glass ceiling dome during the daytime enhances the panoramic of the area.

The neglected spaces were used to create the first floor basement gallery and fourth floor basement seminar room for public use. The spaces are planned for use involving exhibitions, art programs, lectures, and performances.

With the opening of Noksapyeong Station’s public art garden, the Noksapyeong Walk program is scheduled to launch on a regular basis, which is a program entailing a walking tour from Noksapyeong Station through Yongsan Park Gallery and around Yongsan Garrison. The Noksapyeong Walk is a public-participatory program and walking tour linked with the Yongsan Park Gallery that beings from the first floor basement of Noksapyeong Station. Advanced program registration is open to the public via the Public Service Reservation website (

The ‘Noksapyeong Public Art Project’ does not simply import artworks into the subway station, but rather, is a new attempt to innovatively change the way subway station spaces are used. Artwork and public spaces along the inner structure of Noksapyeong Station naturally integrated into the current space, like wallpaper, to enable a transformation into an art gallery for its entirety to become a piece of art in itself.

Inquiries: Noksapyeong Station Project Development Office (☎82-2-338-8823)

Featured Works

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Seoul to run K-Travel Bus exclusively for foreigners that covers major tourist attractions across the country

  • In addition to the existing two-day travel programs, four-day and seven-day tour programs have been prepared for this year
  • This year’s first official operation of the K-Travel Bus is set to begin with a ceremony to be held on March 20
  • K-Travel Bus developed to provide international tourists with tourist attractions outside of Seoul, and to make it easier for non-Korean tourists to visit local other cities

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, March 18, 2019 — K-Travel Bus, a travel bus exclusively for foreigners, will run across the country from March 20. K-Travel Bus was developed by the city government in 2017 to provide international tourists with tourist attractions outside of Seoul, and to make it easier for non-Korean tourists to visit local cities in Korea. It includes reliable accommodation, selected tourist attractions and high-quality guide service.

In addition to the existing two-day travel programs (Seoul & one local city), four-day and seven-day tour programs have been prepared for this year. The two-day tour consists of seven courses (Daegu, Gangwon, etc.); four-day tour composed of two courses (East Zone: Seoul – Daegu – Gyeongbuk – Gangwon – Seoul) & West Zone: Seoul – Chugbuk – Gongju – Jeonnam – Changwon – Seoul); and the seven-day tour combines the two four-day tour programs, visiting eight cities including Seoul (Seoul – Chungbuk – Gongju – Jeonnam – Changwon – Daegu – Gyeongbuk – Gangwon – Seoul). The seven-day tour program can be joined in between to increase conveniences for foreigners living in cities outside Seoul.

This year’s first official operation of the K-Travel Bus is set to begin with a ceremony to be held in front of SM Duty Free Shop located in Insa-dong on March 20. Around 60 passengers of the two-day tour program leaving Seoul for Chungbuk, Gongju and Changwon, and local government officials will participate in the ceremony.

Reflecting the preferences of foreign tourists, the program features at least one specialized cultural experience program for each destination, and diversified accommodations, such as hotels, resorts and hanoks to provide an opportunity for tourists to learn and feel the culture of Korea.

Each stop’s hands-on programs include making “Ttang Ttang Land” chicken and foot bath in Daegu; curling in Gangwon; making handcraft with hanji, or Korean traditional paper in Chungbuk; folk game in Jeollanam-do Province; making traditional masks and winery tour in Gyeongbuk; wearing Baekje royal costumes in Gongju; and tasting soju and wearing a hanbok, or traditional clothing, in Changwon.

Prior to it, the Seoul Metropolitan Government signed a joint business agreement with seven local governments (Daegu-si, Gangwon-do, Chungcheongbuk-do, Jeollanam-do, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Gongju-si, and Changwon-si) in order to further cooperation for better operations and improvements.

Seoul to invest a total of 15.4 billion won in daycare centers for the elderly and to support up to 1 billion won for each new facility

  • Seoul to inject a total of 15.41 billion won to increase the number of the daycare centers for the elderly and its quality at once
  • 3.37 billion won to be spent to increase the number of new daycare centers, and up to 1 billion won to be supported to autonomous district offices and corporations
  • Certificated Seoul-type daycare center to be provided with 12 billion won
  • Seoul to make its best to increase reliable daycare centers that provide a good quality of care service for senior citizens

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, March 18, 2019 — Daycare Centers for the Elderly are facilities where senior citizens who suffer from geriatric diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, are allowed to get care services near their home when they are needed.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government will inject a total of 15.41 billion won (US$ 13.6 million) this year to increase the number of the facility and its quality at once. It is part of the efforts for the city government to make Seoul an aging-friendly city by increasing reliable daycare centers that provide a good quality of care service for the elderly.

<Up to 1 billion won to be provided to autonomous district offices and corporations that build up new daycare centers for the elderly>

On top of it, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will spend a total of 3.37 billion won (US$ 2.9 million) to increase the number of the daycare center that shall meet public interests. It plans to support up to 1 billion won (US$ 880,000) to autonomous district offices (“gu offices”) and corporations that utilize public buildings to run a daycare center or set up a new center in the existing social welfare facilities.

In case of corporations, senior citizens’ welfare related business shall be registered on their articles of association and also their basic property requirements shall be met. Eligible district offices and corporations will be provided with financial support in the establishment of the daycare center and purchase costs of vehicles and equipment.

A total of 31 daycare centers have been set up for the last five years from 2014 to 2018 with such a support from the city government. A facility qualified to receive this support shall make an agreement with the district office that has the jurisdiction of the facility and faithfully operate the center for at least five years. It also shall be certificated as a Seoul-type day care center to provide more than a certain level of service.

<Seoul-type daycare centers that pass the examination in 36 categories to be supported with 12 billion won>

The Seoul Metropolitan Government certifies the reliable facilities as Seoul-type daycare center and is expected to spend a total of 12 billion won (US$ 10.6 million) this year to support their day and night operation expenses, environmental improvement costs, and payroll costs for substitute workers.

Seoul-type daycare centers certificated by the Seoul Metropolitan Government are facilities qualified in a total of 36 categories in five areas. Not only corporations and public organizations, but also private organizations and facilities can be certified if they pass through examinations.

Currently a total of 391 daycare centers are being operated in Seoul. 192 among them (around 49 percent of the total in Seoul) being certified as Seoul-style daycare centers.

In addition to that, the Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to establish a daycare center for the elderly as an annex when it builds up a public care facility, and to improve facilities if it operates the daycare center on a rented building, a religious facility, or an outdated senior citizen community center.

Seoul prepares the Housing Standard for Gosiwon, the first of its kind, setting the mandatory size of the room and installation of a window

  • Seoul announced comprehensive measures to protect the lives of the residents of Gosiwons and to raise the resident’s quality of life
  • Housing Standard for Gosiwon has been made for setting the mandatory size of the room and installation of a window
  • The budget for installing simple sprinkler has increased by 2.4 times
  • Those living in Gosiwons to receive partial monthly rent of 50,000 won per month as they are included in the list of “Seoul-style housing vouchers”

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, March 18, 2019 – Literally “Gosiwon” is a one-pyeong (3.3m2) single-room type of study room for those who prepare for government officer examination. However now it became a symbolic residential facility for day laborers and other socially disadvantaged people. With shared kitchen and toilet, Gosiwon’s tiny rooms without a single window are crowded like honeycomb around a corridor less than one meter wide. Because there is no sprinkler, which is the least safety device, they are greatly exposed to a danger of fire.

In an effort fundamentally improve the human rights of residents living in poor residential environment and strengthen their safety, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is preparing for comprehensive measures for Gosiwons. Most importantly, the Seoul-type Gosiwon housing standard” has been established for the first time, and it will be applied immediately to the city’s remodeling project of outdated Gosiwon.

According to the standard, each room shall be at least 7m2 in a total size and have a window. Residents of Gosiwon will be included on the list of the city’s housing voucher list, so that they are eligible to get part of the rent. Such an attempt is expected to give benefit to around 10,000 households. For this, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will invest a total of 1.5 billion won (US$ 1.3 million) in installing sprinklers in Gosiwons this year.

In addition, shared spaces will be set up in areas where Gosiwons are conglomerated in order to raise the resident’s quality of life. At the same time, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will actively work on transforming Gosiwons into shared houses by requesting to revise the related laws to the central government.

With this as the main agenda, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced comprehensive measures to protect the lives of the residents of Gosiwons. Currently, Seoul has 5,840 Gosiwons in total, nearly half of Korea’s (11,892 throughout the country).

Housing Standard for Gosiwon has been made for setting the mandatory size of the room and installation of a window

First of all, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has set the Housing Standard for Gosiwons: The actual area of the room shall be at least 7m2 or 10m2 if toilet is included, and at least one windows shall be installed in each room. It will ask the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport to revise the building standard for multiple living facilities.

The budget for installing simple sprinkler has increased by 2.4 times

Secondly, the installation of a simple sprinkler is greatly expanded. A total of 1.5 billion won (US$ 1.3 million) will be invested to install sprinklers, which is 2.4 times up from the last year. Starting this year, not only the sprinklers, but also evacuation facilities, such as escape stairs and emergency bridges, will be installed. 1,061 Gosiwons (18.17%) in Seoul have been in operation since July 2009, before the sprinklers were not required to be installed. The city government has completed the installation in 222 locations (around 3.4 billion won in total).

In cooperation of the central government, it is planning to apply the Gosiwons’ obligation to install a simple sprinkler retrospectively so that it can be installed in all Gosiwons within the next two years. Currently, the revision of the related law has completed the legislative process and is set to be reviewed by a subcommittee of the National Assembly.

The Housing Voucher will be given to Gosiwon residents and various shared spaces will be made

Thirdly, those living in Gosiwons are allowed to receive partial monthly rent of 50,000 won per month as they are included in the list of “Seoul-style housing vouchers.” Currently, the voucher is only given to house residents, so those who live in Gosiwons was not eligible. Being in a blind spot of support. It is estimated that about 10,000 new households will be able to receive it.

Lastly, the government attempts to make Gosiwons have a better environment and a place to live with. Staring this year, a pilot project will be launched to rent a building nearby and provide a public space that houses shared spaces, such as laundry rooms, showers, and exercise rooms.

Especially it will remodel unused buildings into a share house and supply them with 80 percent rent to single-person households. From this year, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SH Co.) will inject a total of 7.2 billion won to remodel social housing this year. The city government started the “remodeled social housing project” in 2016 and has supplied a total of 288 housing units (17 building) so far, among with a total of 110 hosing unit (6 building) are Gosiwons.

The private sector will also improve the system so that it can change the use of purpose of Gosiwons into share housing so that it can actively supply housing to single households.

2019 March (Vol.35)

I SEOUL U 2019 March No.35Seoul:World's Best MICE City Max. KRW 250 million Subsidy for Hosting an International Conference in Seoul Support in Hospitality Services and Customized Events for Corporations Expansion of Support for the Promotion of World-class Convergence MICECopyright ⓒ SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Seoul to Run Advertisements for Public Organizations and Small Businesses at No Charge

Seoul has been placing free hope advertisements every year since 2012 to aid the public activities of nonprofit organizations and to revitalize the economic activities of small businesses, and the first subject contest of this year will be held from March 12 (Tue) to April 12 (Fri).
From 2012 to 2018, Seoul selected and provided aid to 295 organizations and businesses, and it further plans to support 40 organizations and businesses over two sessions this year.

Seoul will select and give preferential treatment to those businesses that end up with the same scores in the hope advertisement subject contest for business support of youths and provide help to youth startups.

Subjects of the contest include ▴contribution to society through donations, sharing, and volunteer work, and activities by nonprofit organizations that protect the human rights and interests of the socially vulnerable, ▴startup stories of small businesses that can give hope and courage to citizens and youths, and stories of public nature such as cases of social participation by corporations, etc.

The selected organization will receive full support from Seoul in designing, printing, pasting, and image production, etc., and it is anticipated that the participation of youth startups with expertise in designing and image production will produce higher-quality advertisements this year.
The medium of publicity supported by Seoul include inner corners of the subway, street stands, shoe repair stands, etc. in a total of approximately 6,896 places, and a one-time advertisement on the project will be featured in the monthly city magazine, “Love.seoul.”

Also, in order to provide reinforced support through online advertisements starting this year, the organization or business selected for the hope advertisement will be introduced in an article in ‘Media Hub Seoul’ in addition to a separate banner that can be opened for viewing at any time.

The application procedure and other detailed information can be found on Seoul City’s website

Seoul to Run Advertisements for Public Organizations and Small Businesses at No Charge
Subway inner corner Street stand Shoe repair stand

A Seoul’s viewpoint: Sunset scene in Seoul

On the last day of February; this fantastic sunset view let the month finished perfectly. Let’s see how Seoul sky makes landmark in Seoul such as Namsan tower, Cheonggyecheon stream and Hangang more beautiful!

Launch of 2040 Global Metropolitan Mega Plan

With continual occurrence of urban problems that go beyond the boundaries of the administrative regions of the metropolitan area to reach a megalopolitan dimension, and the need for countermeasures increasing on a wider scale, Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi-do, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport will launch a collaborative service for the establishment of Metropolitan City-Region Planning.

Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi-do regions form a large ‘megalopolis community (shared life zone)’ that are extremely close and connected to surrounding cities in terms of space and function. Accordingly, the need for comprehensive measures against issues such as metropolitan traffic systems, air quality improvements, and prevention of thoughtless development at a megalopolitan level have continually increased, but a practical metropolitan plan that encompasses the metropolitan area still remains absent.

The Metropolitan City-Region Planning is the most significant city plan under the regulation of the National Land Planning and Utilization Act, and as a plan that presents a long-term direction for the development of megalopolitan districts under planning, it will also present reorganization of spatial structure, use of metropolitan land and facilities, and division of city functions.

This Metropolitan City-Region Planning will resolve megalopolitan traffic and environmental issues in accordance with the reorganization period of the Fifth Comprehensive National Development Plan (’20-’40) and the Fourth Seoul Metropolitan Area Readjustment Planning (’21-’40), while stressing the establishment of a practical plan for metropolitan development appropriate for such time of population decrease and low growth.

The proposal for the 2040 Metropolitan City-Region Planning will be drafted early next year, and the final plan will be confirmed late next year after deliberation by the Central Urban Planning Committee.

Seoul to Rise Beyond its Status as World’s Top E-Government to Become a Smart City with 50,000 IoT Sensors Across the City

This year marks the 20th year since Seoul founded a national unit organization in relation to informatization for the official launch of an ICT-based city management and operations policy. Seoul plans to rise above its overwhelming status for seven consecutive years as number one in e-Governance in the world, and kick into high gear to attain the goal of cutting-edge ‘Smart City Seoul’ based on big data and new ICT.

At the core of Smart City Seoul is big data known as the ‘crude oil of the 21st century.’ Continuing Seoul’s individual services that operated under the name of ‘informatization’ such as the Owl Buses, public Wi-Fi, and mVoting, Seoul will combine the IoT, blockchain, and other key technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to the world’s best ICT technology, infrastructure, and accumulated city and administrative data which have been constructed until now, in order to create a new growth engine and offer new services as never before experienced in the past.

For this project, 50,000 ‘IoT (Internet of Things) sensors’ will be installed throughout Seoul. In the area of transportation, the ‘Shared Parking System’ will be introduced within the year to relieve chronic parking difficulties with the IoT sensor that will grasp the availability of parked cars in real time, allowing citizens to check, reserve, and pay for parking spaces via a smartphone app. The sensors will analyze floating population data even when installing senior welfare centers and other infrastructure in order to expand infrastructure to areas of demand. When establishing city plans or constructing new buildings, the ‘3D-based Virtual Seoul’ system will simulate how these will affect the existing city environment and upgrade city management policies.

Also, 120 Dasan Call Center will apply a trial run of the ‘Chat Bot’ function, which automatically responds to citizens’ questions using the artificial intelligence (AI) technology, and images will be analyzed based on big data and AI technology to officially introduce ‘Intelligent CCTV’ that automatically detects particular situations like fights and fires.

Hwangudan Altar

Hwangudan Altar was designated as Historical Site No. 157 on July 15, 1967, and its name refers to an altar used for offering rites to heaven. The Korean name of ‘Hwangudan Altar’ was given by King Gojong in October 1897 after his performance of the rites according to 《Tongnip Sinmun》. Hwangudan Altar of today was created by making a column at the old site of Nambyeolgung Palace to preserve the original altar created for the purpose of conducting rites and the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Gojong (34th year of the reign of King Gojong) in 1897.

Address: 106, Sogong-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
Transportation: Exit 8, Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station (Line 2) / Exit 5, City Hall Station (Lines 1 and 2)

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