On 30 March (Fri), Bamdokkaebi (night ghost) comes back to lighten up Seoul’s night

  • – Seoul opens night markets in 6 famous areas in the city with larger scale and space from 30 March (Fri) to 28 Oct (Sun)
  • – 190 food trucks and 360 sellers will join the market where visitors can buy products and enjoy experience programs
  • – The night markets cover World Music (Yeouido), Bamdokkaebi DJ (Banpo), Concert with taste (DDP), and Time Tour Project (Cheonggyecheon)
  • – The Seoul Metropolitan Government will keep operating the night markets so that young start-ups can gain the opportunity to sell their products and small enterprisers can lay the groundwork for standing on their own feet.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, March 28, 2018 – Bamdokkaebi, which attracted 4.94 million visitors in 2017, comes back. The Seoul city government will open 6 night markets this year (5 markets last year) to live up to the interest and affection from the citizens. The night markets in Yeouido, Banpo and DDP will open on 30 March (Fri) and the ones in Cheonggyecheon and Cultural Depot Park will open on 31 March (Sat). Cheonggye Plaza will run a market on a seasonal basis, which will start to open in May.

Seoul Bamdokkaebi night market this year will range from global night markets with sellers around the world, the market with great night view, fountain, romance and art to the Korean-style night market for tourists. As such, the Bamdokkaebi night market will feature regional characteristics while presenting various cultural programs like traditional performances, magic show and acoustic music performances. In the night markets, the citizens and tourists can enjoy various programs and have fun.

Meanwhile, various types of sellers will join the food trucks, including new food trucks waiting for their first encounter with customers as well as the popular sellers at the previous Bamdokkaebi night markets. The food trucks will serve foods from all over the world. Visitors can enjoy all kinds of food ranging from Western food like homemade burger, steak and pasta, Japanese food like sushi and octopus-shaped bread, Korean dishes like Bibimbap (boiled rice with mixtures of meats and vegetables) and Bulgogi (barbequed beef) to skewered food, dessert and unique beverages.

This year, sellers need to apply for permission to join the market in each region. Selected sellers can open their shops in a specific regional night market in the 1st half of this year (from 30 March to 8 July). Therefore, visitors can enjoy different foods and products in different areas by visiting many different night markets in Seoul.

On 30 March (Fri), Bamdokkaebi (night ghost) comes back to lighten up Seoul’s night
Place Concept Details Opening hours
Yeouido Hangang Park (Mulbit Square) World night market Traveling around the world in Hangang in a single night Every Friday and Saturday
Banpo Hangang Park (Moonlight Square) Romantic moonlight market Market with night view, fountain, romance and art
(Eight Junction Square)
Youth runway market Design market with Youth’s taste and idea
Cheonggyecheon (Mojeongyo ~ Gwanggyo) Time tour market Korean-style market for tourists in the city Every
Saturday 17:00~22:00
Sunday 16:00~21:00
Cultural Depot Park (Culture Square) Forest picnic market Relaxed picnic in a forest Every Saturday and Sunday
Cheonggye Plaza

Season market Seasonal Bamdokkaebi in May, August, September and October Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the seasons

Seoul city government to revive the printing venues at Sewoon arcade into the rebirth of industry combining “master + youth + new technology”

  • – Seoul City announces that it will launch the 2nd phase of the 「Remake‧Sewoon project」 (from Sampung to Jinyang arcade) on 28 March, targeting completion by April 2020
  • – The project will lay the groundwork for a “printing shop without a roof” where printing masters with long experiences and youth creators’ design/technology can coexist
  • – The city government will newly establish anchor facilities including startup spaces, residential areas for the youth and working studios, while Jinyang and Inhyeon arcade will accommodate relevant hub spaces
  • – 7 building in the Sewoon arcade will be connected through 1km-long pedestrian bridge and deck, which will become the North-South pedestrian path in Seoul

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, March 27, 2018 – The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to renovate the printing venues in Sewoon arcade, which are struggling with emerging digital media, as the hub for “creative printing industry.” The plan is to combine the printing veterans’ master skills, young creators’ unique design and idea, and cutting-edge technologies including materials, post-processing, and special printing. Last June, the city government designated Chungmu-ro and Ulji-ro areas (300,000㎡) as “the district for promoting the development of the printing industry.” Seoul City is building up a set of “plans for reviving the printing industry” to provide safe working conditions and support sustainable growth.

The Seoul city government will newly establish a “Print Smart Anchor”, which is a core hub combining the spaces for one-man companies, studios for sampling works, and training facilities. Seoul will also newly install “Makers’ Cube”, a space for printing-related startups. 400 units of houses will be provided for young creators so that a youth community can be created where they can work and live together harmoniously. At Jinyang arcade, new spaces will be located where self-published writers who want to release their books can work with printing businesses at Sewoon arcade while readers can purchase the self-published books. Inhyeon underground shopping center will house printing school, studios and exhibition spaces.

Effort to revive the pedestrian culture will go hand in hand. The vitality created from industrial regeneration will spread along the pedestrian network. Last September, the Sewoon ~ Cheonggye/Daelim arcades were connected through overhead pedestrian bridges and pedestrian decks. By 2020, a 1km-long pedestrian path will connect 7 buildings in Sewoon arcade stretching from Daelim and Sampung to Jinyang arcade which is connected to Toegye-Ro. Upon the completion, the path will serve as the North-South pedestrian path in Seoul ranging from Jongmyo and Sewoon arcade to Mt. Namsan.

As indicated above, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced the plan to complete the 2nd phase construction of the 「Remake‧Sewoon project」 stretching from Sampung arcade and Hotel PJ to Inhyeon /Jinyang arcade by April 2020. Under the 1st phase of the 「Remake‧Sewoon project」, the northern part (from Sewoon to Cheonggye/Daelim arcade) of Sewoon arcade was reborn as “the place of innovation for creative manufacturing industry” where conventional manufacturing industry meets with digital devices. With the 2nd phase project, the city government plans to renovate the Southern part of Sewoon arcade into a hub for “creative printing industry” by invigorating vitality of cutting-edge technology and competitive design skills to the long-established printing industry.

Learning about Seoul’s History and Culture from Foreigners

Seoul will operate <SEMU-YÉOL Lecture>, an English lecture that informs foreigners of the excellence and value of Seoul’s traditional culture, on the first Monday of each month until December 3, 2018 for a total of eight sessions.

The lecture, which will be given in Learning Room 1, Seoul Museum of History, will be aimed at foreigners and Seoul citizens and conducted in English. There will be a total of eight sessions for six speakers, one exploration session, and one experience lecture. Each lecture will be held from 11:30-13:00 and the exploration session and experiential lecture will be from 10:00-12:00 according to the following information.

Learning about Seoul’s History and Culture from Foreigners
Lecture No. Schedule Theme Speaker
1 4. 2 (Mon.) Understanding Seoul : Seeing Our City with Different Eyes Daniel Täendler
Architect, Co-director of urban detail
2 5.12 (Sat.) [Walking Lecture] Understanding Seoul : Seeing Our City with Different Eyes
3 6. 4 (Mon.) Why North Korea is Not a “Communist” Country, or the Unnoticed Birth of North Korean Capitalism Andrei Lankov
Professor at Kookmin University
4 9. 3 (Mon.) Korean Buddhism in the World : Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Bernard Senecal
Director of the Institute for the Study of Religion at Sogang University
5 10. 1 (Mon.) [Experience Program]Cooking Class on Korean Temple Cuisine Venerable Hyungmin
Korean Temple Food Center
6 11.12 (Mon.)  The Roots of Korean Literature Kevin O'Rourke
Professor Emeritus at Kyunghee University  
7 12. 3 (Mon.) Moving beyond Makgeolli : Selected Observations on Traditional Korean Alcohol John M. Frankl
Professor at Yonsei University

This year especially, experts in each field were invited and programs were carefully selected for more foreigners and citizens to attend quality English lectures about Seoul’s history and culture.

<SEMU-YÉOL Lecture> is not only for foreigners residing in Korea but is open for participation by all citizens who wish to attend lectures about Seoul in English. The admission is free to all, and applications for the second education session to be held on April 2 will be accepted until March 29. After the deadline, each session will be open to 40 individuals on a first-come, first-served basis via telephone, and inquiries for application can be made to the secretariat (Monday – Friday/02-745-5878). In the case of regular lectures, interested attendees may register on-site (first come, first served basis). This will be a new experience to learn in depth about Seoul and Korea through foreign experts.

SEMU-YÉOL Lecture Photos
SEMU-YÉOL Lecture Photos SEMU-YÉOL Lecture Photos
SEMU-YÉOL Lecture Photos SEMU-YÉOL Lecture Photos
[SEMU-YÉOL Lecture Photos]

Seoul issues air pollution alerts in English for international residents

  • – Foreign residents in Seoul get to receive the air quality information in English via mobile message to take proper actions against fine dust starting from March 27, 2018
  • – Those who want to receive the notification in English may visit the city government’s official English website and apply for the service
  • – Korea’s air quality standard for PM-10 and PM-2.5 has been revised as of March 27, 2018, according to which fine dust alerts will be issued

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, March 26, 2018 – More than 400,000 foreign residents in Seoul now get to receive the air quality information and alerts in English via mobile text message starting from March 27, 2018.

Depending on the density of fine dust, the Seoul Metropolitan Government issues watch or warning to take emergency fine-dust reduction measures. It also sends out advisory information – for instance, “please wear a mask whenever you go out,” or “please try not to go outside and stay home.”

As of the end of February, 2018, around 29,000 residents are receiving real-time information about the air pollution. However, those notifications were sent out only in Korean, so non-Korean residents, who do not understand Korean, had difficulties in taking proper actions against fine dust.

To meet the demands from foreign residents, the city government established the English text messaging system and officially launches the English notification service for international residents.

If the level of fine dust is forecasted to be high, text notifications will be sent out twice a day – at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. If it is extremely bad, the text message will be sent out immediately.

Any foreigner who wants to receive the air pollution notification in English may visit the city government’s official English website at http://english.seoul.go.kr and apply for the service.

Meanwhile, Korea’s air quality standard for PM-10 and PM-2.5 has been revised as of March 27, 2018, according to which fine dust alerts will be issued.

○ Air Quality Standard (Basic Environment Law, Revised Enforcement, March 27, 2018)

Category PM-10(㎍/㎥) PM-2.5(㎍/㎥)
Annual Average 50 2515
24-hour Average 100 5035

Seoul citizens think 2,515,000 Won a month to be needed to live modest life for their golden years

  • – The Seoul Institute releases the consumer sentiment index for the first quarter of 2018, and its policy report highlighting the status of the citizens’ preparation for old age
  • – The report said the citizens think the modest cost of living for an elderly couple will be an average of 2,515,000 Won ($2,360) a month
  • – The Consumer Sentiment Index for the first quarter of 2018 is 97.3

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, March 26, 2018 – The Seoul Institute, the official think tank of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, releases the consumer sentiment index for the first quarter of the year, and its 247th policy report highlighting main economic issues for 2018.

The report said that Seoul citizens consider those aged over 65 as the elderly people, and 49.9 percent of the households in the city is preparing for their later years. 49.5 percent of respondents answered they joined the public pension plan, such as the National Pension, as a means of preparation for old age, which is followed by private pension plan (25%), real estate, rental income and reverse mortgage loan (10.8%), and bank deposits (10.6%).

According to the report, the citizens think that the modest cost of living for an elderly couple will be an average of 2,515,000 Won ($2,360) a month. Most of the citizens responded that the level of their current financial preparation is ‘enough’ or ‘less enough.’ The main reason why they are not able to prepare well for their golden years is, they answered, that they should buy a house or pay debts.

When asked about the most urgent measures against the aging society, they said the government’s support plan to create jobs for the senior citizens (40%); to expand elderly medical care services (20.6%); to establish the national system to deal with senile dementia (17.8%); to increase the amount of Basic Old Age Pension and to expand its recipients (11.9%).

The Consumer Sentiment Index for the first quarter of 2018 is 97.3, a decrease by 6.0 point from the previous quarter. It is expected to be improved once the job market gets better. The current living state index, one of the main categories of the Consumer Sentiment Index, has been decreased by 2.1 point to 86.1 from the previous quarter, and the future living state index has also been down by 1.9 point to 96.0. That is because growing households expect that their living conditions will be worse in one year due to decreased household income and increased living costs.

Seoul hat das längste und beste ÖPNV-System der Welt

A Giant Leap for Walkability

Seoul Transportation Corporation and KT to improve subway station environment through ICT

  • – Seoul Transportation Corporation has installed a device to measure fine dust to improve air quality in Gwanghwamun, Wangsimni and Janghanpyeong stations as a pilot program
  • – Scream-sound detection sensors are installed to prevent crimes in ladies’ rooms in 10 stations on Line 5 where sexual offence cases are frequent
  • – Intelligent closed-circuit televisions are installed in subway stations and car depots to find passenger collapse and facility trespassing
  • – Seoul Transportation Corporation is the first to analyze the power usage of subway trains for energy saving

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, March 23, 2018 – Seoul Transportation Corporation and KT announced a pilot program of installing ICT system in major subway stations and car depots on Line 5 this year to improve air quality, prevent safety accidents and crimes, and efficiently use energy.

Devices to analyze the air quality in real time have been installed in Gwanghwamun, Wangsimni and Janghanpyeong stations in Line 5 for better air quality. Ladies’ room is the place where sexual crimes are most frequent in subway stations, but CCTV cannot be installed due to personal privacy. As an alternative, a real-time detection system of emergency has now been installed in the ladies’ room. If the device, called Safe Mate, detects screaming sound, it turns on the warning light at the entry of the ladies’ room and sends alert messages to the mobile phones of the employees at subway stations. Seoul Transportation Corporation will build up a system to report the accidents to the police in cooperation with Center for the Prevention of Crime. Intelligent CCTV and IoT-based management system are installed in Gwanghwamun and Cheonho stations and Godeok Car Depot. With the system, the operation control center can immediately find if passengers collapse, subway platform are overcrowded and the gates of restricted areas are open.

KT GiGA Energy Manager is installed to analyze power usage in real time in 14 substations which supply power to subway stations on Line 5. Seoul Transportation Corporation will utilize the energy manager to separately measure the power usage of stations and subway trains for the first time in the country. By doing so, Seoul Transportation Corporation plans to come up with measures to save energy usage through big data analysis technology.

Seoul City Government and Korea Forest Service to expand urban forests in living areas to reduce fine dust

  • – Seoul is the first local government to sign the agreement to develop and promote various models of urban forests in major cities nationwide
  • – Expanding green areas through roof gardens and green walls of schools, apartment complexes and private buildings, and pocket parks and forests
  • – Seoul city government will list up action plans for project implementation and improvement as one of its leading projects, while Korea Forest Service will provide support in policy and budget and improve the institution
  • – Mayor Park Won-soon and Minister KIM Jae-Hyun signs an agreement at Malli Plaza in Seoullo 7017 on 23 March (Friday)

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, March 23, 2018 – Seoul city signs an agreement with Korea Forest Service to increase urban forests in every corner of the capital. It is to reduce fine dust and improve citizen’s quality life.

The plan starts from creating small-sized parks including roof gardens and green walls of schools, apartment complexes and private buildings, and pocket parks to large-sized green area such as small forests and parks through urban regeneration projects. In the mid to long term, Seoul City will tighten the link between these urban forests and outskirt forests to find wind ways so that clean air from the outskirts of the city can flow into downtown. Through the plan, the city government aims to mitigate urban heat island effect and reduce fine dust. According to National Institute of Forest Science, urban forests have less fine dust and ultra-fine dust compared to downtown by 25.6 percent and 40.9 percent on average, respectively. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has already created parks and green areas by finding and regenerating industrial heritages, idle sites and leftover spaces.

This agreement is the first to be signed between a local government and Korea Forest Service since it announced the “measures to build green infrastructure for fine dust reduction and elegant cities” on 31 January. This agreement is a leading effort to develop and promote various models of urban forests in major cities in the country.

Seoul City Mayor Park Won-soon and Minister KIM Jae-Hyun of Korea Forest Service signs the “agreement on fine dust reduction and elegant cities” at Malli Plaza in Seoullo 7017 at 11am on 23 March (Friday). Following the signing ceremony, the city government holds a tree-planting campaign to celebrate the 73th anniversary of Arbor Day. On the day, Mayor Park Won-soon and Minister KIM Jae-Hyun plans to hand some 20,000 trees out to 5,000 citizens to raise awareness of the importance of tree planting.

Meet Seoul’s 6 new attractions!

PC Shutdown to Discourage Long-Hours Working Culture

< Overall direction >

PC shutdown program every Friday to discourage employees to work overtime at night while promoting office culture with work and life balance

1. Background

  • – The average overtime work hours of the Seoul city government in 2017 is 1.8 times longer compared to the central government departments.
  • – Although Seoul pushed for lights out at the city government buildings on the day of families, there have been a lot of applications for exemption from the forced light-out.
  • – As of January 2018, the rate of the exemption cases reaches 67.1%.
  • – Enhancing sound organization culture by promoting the balance between work and life
  • – Emart (January 2018) and Human Resources Development Service of Korea (March 2017) implemented PC shutdown policy to address the culture of working overtime.
  • *At Emart, the rate of working overtime sharply decreased from 32% to 0.3%.

2. Detail

  • – Power shutdown (including PC) after 7pm every Friday with no exception
    2. Detail
    Phase 1st phase (March) 2nd phase (April) 3rd phase (May-)
    Date March 30 Every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month Every Friday
    Time 20:00- 19:30- 19:00-
    Subject New Seoul City Hall and Seoul City Hall Seosomun Building New Seoul City Hall and Seoul City Hall Seosomun Building City-affiliated organizations housed at private buildings
  • – No acceptance of departments’ request for exemption from the forced light-out and PC power shutdown. (All departments) If the entire offices are expected to work overtime due to preparation for National Assembly’s audit, questions on municipal administration and etc., a prior notice will be made and the power shutdown will not be implemented.
  • (Department-wise) Only in case of need such as running a disaster-related response team, the request for cooperation shall be made to organization management division.
  • * 24/7 working departments (shift-work based) including 119 General Situation Room and Seoul Safety Control Center are exempted from the power shutdown.
  • – Submission and acceptance of the request for approval on overtime work are not allowed (but, allowed only for overtime work hours before 19:00).

After a trial period in in March and April, the full implementation begins from May.

Seoul’s encore career fellowship program helps 50+ generations find new jobs in social enterprises

  • – Seoul to operate the 50+SE(Social Economy) fellowship program for retirees aged over 50
  • – This social contribution job creation program links participating citizens over 50 to social enterprises that need them
  • – Seoul 50 Plus Foundation to make cooperative agreements with Hanwha Life Insurance and Joyful Union for concerted efforts to increase jobs in social economic field and establish a model of Korea’s encore career program

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, March 22, 2018 – The Seoul Metropolitan Government increases social economic jobs to help the middle-aged citizens make their way up once again.

The Seoul 50 Plus Foundation, an organization to support those aged over 50, will provide 50+Social Economic Fellowship program to encourage the 50-plus generation to make full advantage of their experiences and expertise. This social contribution job creation program links participating citizens over 50 to social enterprises that need them.

Linked to “Encore Career,” the Fellowship program is designed to support retirees. Currently in developed countries including the United States, many senior citizens actively participate in the fellowship programs to work with non-profit organizations.

※ “Encore Career” was firstly introduced in a book titled “Encore,” written by Marc Freeman, the founder of non-profit organization Civic Ventures, to describe the second act that utilizes the skills people have accrued throughout life and that can even have a positive impact on the world.

Together with “50+NPO (Non-Profit Organization)” fellowship program that has been conducted since last year, “50+SE (Social Economy)” program will be operated this year. To do so, the Seoul 50 Plus Foundation will make cooperative agreements with Hanwha Life Insurance and Joyful Union at 10:30 a.m. on March 23, 2018, at a conference room of the Foundation.

According to the agreement, the three organizations will make concerted efforts to expand the number of jobs in the social economic field especially for the 50+ citizens. For a full range of operations of the program, they will be involved in selecting participating citizens and companies, gathering job information, holding matching days, accompanying job interviews and providing other needed supports.

Among participants, no more than 15 who successfully perform the 50+SE fellowship program will be selected for three-month intensive internship program. The Seoul 50 Plus Foundation and the two organizations will also help those who complete the both programs find new jobs in social enterprises.