Seoul Supplies 6,000 Single, Low-income Elders with Pet Plants

The “Seoul Pet Plant Distribution Project,” which combines both urban agriculture and social welfare services, is being spotlighted as an alternative solution for the emerging social issue of the rise in death and depression of low-income elders who live alone.

Starting in March, the city of Seoul will begin distributing pet plants to 6,000 single, low-income elders ages 65 and older. 4,000 plants will be distributed in Seoul and 2,000 plants will be distributed in the outer city suburb districts.

The city will distribute pet plants while also offering regular visits from horticultural therapists and district counselors for guidance on plant management. The city will also offer continuous management services via telephone for both consolation and emotional support. Outer city suburb districts will utilize and support network welfare systems like such as the Elder Dolbom Service for projects that provide similar services for the elderly.

The “Seoul Pet Plant Distribution Project” began in 2017 will be operated as a city project and an outer city suburb promotion project. So far, 4,000 plants, including ivy, rubber trees and spearflowers, have been distributed to the elderly.

○ Photos of the 2018 Seoul Pet Plant Distribution Project

Photos of the 2018 Seoul Pet Plant Distribution Project
Counselor trainingPR booth at Seoul marketplace
ContestRe-visitation service

Seoul Opens First National Short-Term Care Center for Elders, ‘Deun-Deun Care,’ for Maximum Four-Week Support

On Friday, March 1, the city of Seoul will open a short-term care center for elders called “Deun-Deun Care.” Seoul will be the nation’s first local government to open such a facility.

“Deun-Deun Care” provides temporary life support services for elders experiencing difficulties in their everyday lives after being discharged from the hospital or due to an accident. This care center’s doctrine revolves around aiding seniors so that they can return to daily lives in health.

Six rooms in a municipal nursing home will be designated as short-term care rooms, with three to eighteen elders assigned to one room. Each senior citizen can live at the facility for two to four weeks, depending on necessity.

Elders residing in the care center will be offered daily life adaptation support services such as the healthy meals service, fall prevention services, and education and training on hygienic health care. They will also receive health services from visiting medical teams who will check the elders’ blood pressures, teach them how to care for chronic diseases, extend accompaniment services to hospitals and pharmacies for outpatient treatments, offer programs for emotional stability, and provide cultural leisure activities.

Elders must be over the age of 65 and be recipients of the national basic income or outside the bracket for long-term medical treatment for the lower income group in order to stay at this care center. Those who meet these requirements may be admitted if they have a definite home to which they can return and if everyday life is possible after receiving care.

Elders who check out of the short-term care center will be provided with information about services and local resources related to health and mental health in order to foster the creation of stable living environments. Furthermore, there are currently plans to link up with the health management projects at local community health centers in order to extend regular monitoring and post-management services.

Short-term Care Center for Elders’ Rooms
Short-term Care Center for Elders’ Rooms

Seoul Selected as Host City to Joint Bid the ‘2032 Summer Olympics’ with North Korea

Seoul passed the first obstacle to becoming one of the hosts of the 2032 Summer Olympics. It will be 44 years in 2032 since Korea’s hosting of the 1988 Seoul Olympics. According to the voting results of the General Meeting of Korean Sport & Olympic Committee Representatives held at Korea National Training Center on Feb. 11 (Mon), ‘Seoul’ was ultimately selected as the host city in Korea for the 「35th Summer Olympics in 2032」.

Preceding the voting, Mayor of Seoul Park Won-soon gave a 15-minute presentation in which he expressed the appropriateness of why Seoul should be the host city of the 2032 Olympics and Seoul’s measures of attraction. He expressed the historicity and symbolism of Seoul as a representative city of the Korean peninsula for 625 years, stable preparations in the competition and financial capabilities to host the Games, a ready infrastructure and global urban competitiveness, and items of preparation for joint hosting by South Korea and North Korea.

With the start of its selection as the domestic host city, Seoul will accelerate preparations to be selected as the final host city for the 35th Summer Olympics in 2032.

To increase its competitiveness against other candidate cities, Seoul plans to establish an efficient attraction strategy that corresponds with the ‘Olympic Agenda 2020’ presented by the IOC. The ‘Olympic Agenda 2020’ is IOC’s vision of utilizing existing facilities rather than building new stadiums to aim for an economical Olympics.

Seoul will also step forward to introduce its experience and charms as an international sports city. Seoul will actively support the 「25th Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) General Assembly」 to underscore the city’s capacity and know-how in hosting large international events on IOC members and the Executive Board of the National Olympic Committee (NOC).

Seoul will officially promote the ‘joint hosting of 2032 Olympics by South Korea and North Korea’ which was mutually agreed upon at last year’s Inter-Korean summit. Seoul anticipates that it will gain momentum in discussions in relation to preparation on various aspects for exchange with Pyongyang in the areas of society and culture, economic development, and urban infrastructure, following its announcement of 「Seoul-Pyongyang Comprehensive City Cooperation Plan」 in 2016.

As the Olympics is a national event requiring national support and participation, Seoul will organize a preparatory committee based on voluntary participation of citizens and athletes to heighten the excitement of the Olympics in addition to supporting various activities such as debates and conferences and foster the expansion of sympathy.

2032 Summer Olympics

Seoul to Commence the ‘Era of 25,000 Electric and Hydrogen Cars’ This Year

Era of 25,000 Electric and Hydrogen Cars

Seoul is set to commence the ‘Era of 25,000 Electric and Hydrogen Cars’ by the end of this year. This year, 14,000 vehicles are expected to be distributed with the aim of popularizing eco-friendly cars. The amount distributed this year will be greater than 11,512 accumulated vehicles supplied over the past ten years.

Seoul aims to distribute a total of 13,600 electric cars. To make the switch from old diesel vehicles, the main cause of air pollution, to electric cars, Seoul will distribute 9,055 electric cars and 445 trucks. In terms of public transportation, 30 electric taxis and about 3.3 times the number of large buses will be supplied additionally as compared to last year. Compared to the 55 hydrogen cars supplied last year, there will be a sharp increase with 307 cars supplied this year.
To accommodate the convenience of vehicle charging with the increase of eco-friendly cars, the city will distribute 2,000 public electric car chargers and expand to eleven hydrogen car charging stations.

Seoul will provide subsidies for the promotion of eco-friendly cars by supporting 12.06-13.5 million KRW per electric car and 2-2.3 million KRW per electric motorcycles (subcompact cars) in accordance with vehicle performance and effects of improving atmospheric environment. The fixed amount of 3.5 million KRW (approximately 50% of the vehicle price) will be funded for hydrogen cars.

In accordance with Seoul’s electric vehicle support policy of 2019, 500,000 KRW will be funded for the scrapping of an old diesel car with a switch to an electric car, and up to 1 million KRW will be funded for the scrapping of an old diesel car with a switch to an electric car for residents in Seoul’s Green Transport Promotion Zone.

In addition to the subsidies, eco-friendly cars will receive tax reductions, 50% discounts at public parking lots, 100% exemption in congestion charge for Namsan Tunnel, and other benefits for economic efficiency.

Seoul to Extend Funding of ‘Drowsy Driving Prevention Device’ for Large Trucks

With accidents continuously caused by dozing off at the wheel, installment of the Lane Departure Warning System for trucks and large vehicles have become mandatory, and Seoul City will continue to complete the installation support this year which was begun last year to strengthen traffic safety.

The Lane Departure Warning System is a device that detects drivers’ unintentional lane departure and dozing off while driving which gives the driver visual, auditory, and tactile warnings. The system will detect lane departure through the front vehicle camera, turn signal switch, steering angle sensor, vehicle speed sensor, etc.

This year, Seoul will offer a total funding of 2.27 billion KRW for the installment of the Lane Departure Warning System, with a fifty-fifty division of public and municipal expenses, for approximately 5,700 trucks and special vehicles registered in Seoul.

The city will offer 80% funding of device expenses (including installment fees) and will provide support of up to 400,000 KRW per vehicle. Dump trucks* and towed vehicles among trucks and special vehicles exceeding 20 tons will be excluded from the funding.

The subsidy funding project for the mandatory installment of the Lane Departure Warning System will only be provided by the end of this year. Because the funding budget can be exhausted early, Seoul City encourages completion of installments during the first half of the year. Starting in 2020, vehicles that have not installed the Lane Departure Warning System will be charged fines in accordance with relevant laws.

Drowsy Driving Prevention Device
Road departure warning
<Road departure warning>
Car lane recognition
<Car lane recognition>
Camera and display
<Camera and display>

Asia’s Top Creators Selected Through Most Rigorous Competition to Meet in Seoul on the 28th

creator awards seoul 2019

Top creators from Asian countries selected through rigorous competition will gather at Seoul’s DDP in February 2019.

Together with WeWork, a platform that offers space, communities, and services to creators around the globe, Seoul will hold the ‘Seoul Creator Awards’ on Feb. 28, 2019 (Thu). The ‘Seoul Metropolitan Government’ is the first external organization to co-sponsor the Creator Awards with WeWork.

‘Seoul Creator Awards’ is the first WeWork Creators Awards (regional semifinal) to be held in 2019, and it is a global event enabling the discovery and support of domestic creators including entrepreneurs, artists, and non-profit organizations that are passionate about work not just as a means of survival but as work that can realize the true value of life.
Following the first creator awards in Mar. 2017, regional creator awards were held in 15 areas such as Washington D.C., Detroit, London, and Berlin, and two global finals were held in New York in Jan. 2018 and in Los Angeles in Jan. 2019.

Over 1,000 applications has been received in three awards categories of Entrepreneurship and Venture Business, Non-profit Organizations, and Performing Arts. The event was recorded as having had the highest competition rate of all creator awards held in Asia.

The entire semifinal held at DDP will be broadcast live through ‘Live Seoul,’ and an awards ceremony and congratulatory performance will be presented following the selection of winners with a prize award for the chance to advance to the global finals.

On the day of the ‘Seoul Creator Awards,’ pop-up markets offering handmade products will be open to public along with an employment expo with over 30 distinguished enterprises in participation.

Anyone interested can apply in advance on the website below for free on a first-come, first-served basis.

Seoul to Develop a Thick Hangang Forest with Tree Planting at Six Hangang Parks

Seoul is set to plant 84,000 trees in six areas including Ichon Hangang Park in 2019 to implement the Hangang Forest Project for creation of heavy forests. The Hangang Forest Project will divide Hangang Park’s forest into three models by function Buffering Forest, Utilization Forest, and Ecological Forest to create forests suited to the characteristics of each location.

※ Hangang Forest: Classification of the three models of Ecological Forest, Utilization Forest, Buffering Forest

한강, 생태숲, 이용숲, 완충숲, 도로
  • Ecological Forest: Restoring nature with trees such as willows
  • Utilization Forest: Rest area by the waterside, presentation of various sceneries
  • Buffering Forest: Buffer roadside noise and sceneries

Seoul has continuously worked on the creation of Hangang Forest for four years from 2015 to 2018, planting 175,773 trees in the Buffering Forest, 194,707 trees in the Utilization Forest, and 258,015 trees in the Ecological Forest for a total of 628,455 trees planted, with the same added effect of an oasis and natural air purifier within the city.

As a countermeasure against fine dust, Hangang Forest as it will be landscaped will plant trees in the buffering zone, or the Buffering Forest, with superior dust-adsorption ability to prevent roadside dust. Trees for shades will be planted to create shaded rest areas in the Utilization Forest to improve the convenience of the people.

Ichon Hangang Park will expand its bamboo forest from Dongjakdaegyo Bridge to Hangangdaegyo Bridge to plant 12,500 trees for creation of a green forest to be enjoyed year-round.

Gwangnaru Hangang Park will plant 31,200 trees at Gwangjingyo Bridge to create flower-covered bicycle lanes filled with floral scents in the air which will be the Gwangnaru bicycle road flower path forest.

The 5km from Ichon to Mangwon Hangang Park will be planted with 1,000 trees to design themed walks and trails that allow visitors to appreciate the tranquil riverside.

In the vicinity of Sebitseom Island at Banpo Hangang Park, 10,800 trees will be planted to offer the people with convenient use in addition to Sebit Forest’s shaded rest areas under trees.

Around Seonyugyo Bridge at Yanghwa Hangang Park, 10,300 trees will be planted to create a green buffer zone to shield and reduce the noise and dust of Olympic-daero.

Around the baseball stadium by Nanji Hangang Park, 8,200 trees will be planted to provide shade for the convenience of the people

The ‘Hangang Forest Project’ is scheduled to be completed by the end of June 2019 and opened to the public.

Youth Flower Trucks to Visit 25 University Graduation and Commencement Ceremonies

In February when beginnings and completions intersect, youth flower trucks will visit university graduation and commencementceremonies.

The ‘City Youth Moving Flower Market’ that Seoul promotes for the creation of new jobs and revitalization of the floricultural industry will commence operations at university streets starting February in tune with the graduation and commencement season. Operations will take place from February 8th (Friday) until February 26th (Thursday) in connection with a total of 25 universities.

A flower truck will be composed of one team with two members, and each team will operate one truck for a total of ten trucks. A service is being offered where orders are received in advance from consumers, then visits are made.

The ‘flower truck’ offers bouquets, fine dust-reducing air purifying plants, and flower baskets in addition to unique flower bouquets appropriate for the graduation and commencement season. There are also foliage plants that can reduce indoor fine dust and sick building syndrome, fragrant bulbs that are suitable for the season, and herbs.

The flower trucks will be able to be found regularly at the Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market, starting in April, and at Hangang Parks.

Base Seoul Taxi Fare to Rise to KRW 3,800 Starting February 16 at 4 a.m.

Starting 4 a.m. on February 16, the base fare for Seoul taxis will rise 18.6% to KRW 3,800 during the daytime.

The base fare for mid-sized taxies will rise to KRW 3,800 during the daytime (KRW 800 increase) and to KRW 4,600 during late-night hours (KRW 1,000 increase). The late-night premium application hours will remain the same as before, from midnight to 4 a.m. The base fare for large and deluxe taxis will rise to KRW 6,500 (KRW 1,500 increase).

In cases where the fare comes out to a number that includes units of KRW 10 due to the late-night premium (20% of daytime distance/time fare), the number will be rounded off so as to be expressed only in units of KRW 100. For instance, if the fare meter indicates a fare of KRW 4,040 this will be rounded down to KRW 4,000, and if it indicates a fare of KRW 4,050, this will be rounded up to KRW 4,100. The rounded-off amount will automatically be displayed when the taxi driver presses the payment button on the meter.

Seoul will perform operations to reflect the adjusted amounts in the fare meters of 70,000 Seoul taxis over the course of fifteen days starting on the 16th. To prevent citizen confusion during this period, a fare chart will be affixed in all taxis to allow passengers to check the fares before and after the increase.

Fares Before/After Increase

Fares Before/After Increase
Mid-sized TaxisDaytimeBase fareKRW 3,000/2 kmKRW 3,800/2 km
Distance fareKRW 100 per 142 mKRW 100 per 132 m
Time fareKRW 100 per 35 sec.KRW 100 per 31 sec.
Late Night
(20% of daytime fare added)
Base fareKRW 3,600/2 kmKRW 4,600/2 km
Applicable hoursMidnight to 4 a.m.Midnight to 4 a.m.
Base fareKRW 5,000/3 kmKRW 6,500/3 km
Distance fareKRW 200 per 164 mKRW 200 per 151 m
Time fareKRW 200 per 39 sec.KRW 200 per 36 sec.

Seoul City to Add 200 Facilities This Year upon Receiving High Satisfaction Rate for Emergency Sanitary Pad Dispensers

Last year, Seoul City installed emergency sanitary pad dispensers in 11 public facilities including youth centers, libraries, and welfare centers that are frequented by youths and women upon receiving a high satisfaction rate from users and operating agencies, with no problems of misuse despite earlier concerns. Seoul will largely extend the number of facilities with emergency sanitary pad dispensers to 200 locations and work to implement various campaigns for spreading the culture of installing emergency sanitary pad dispensers to the public.

According to the result of Seoul City’s pilot project that began in October of last year, user satisfaction of the pilot project reached a total of 4.42 points (out of a total of 5 points). Of the 11 participating facilities of the pilot project, ten found it to be satisfactory while one answered that the result was average and none found it to be unsatisfactory, and all showed the will to participate in the project in 2019.

In the 11 facilities, a total of 2,901 sanitary pads (average of 3.68 per day) were used during the three-month trial run, and no problems of misuse occurred, which was an earlier concern for the project.

Seoul conducted online discussion and surveys before the 2018 pilot project to collect citizens’ opinions. 92% of citizens voted in favor of the installment of emergency sanitary pad dispensers in public facilities, and 84.9% of women responded that they once experienced difficulty due to not having access to sanitary pads when they needed them.

Seoul drew up a budget of KRW 500 million this year to increase the number of participating facilities to 200, including youth centers, vocational experience centers, women development centers, welfare centers, and libraries used primarily by youths and women.

Seoul will indicate the facilities that provide sanitary pad dispensers on Seoul map for easy use by citizens ( following the confirmed designation of project organizations. Seoul will also enforce various campaigns for the spread of emergency sanitary pad dispensers throughout all regions.

○ Current status of pilot project locations (11 facilities)

Current status of pilot project locations (11 facilities)
1Seoul Museum of ArtFreeJung-gu
2Seoul Women’s PlazaFreeDongjak-gu
3Jungbu Women’s Development CenterFreeMapo-gu
4Taiwha Christian Community CenterFreeGangnam-gu
5Seoul Metropolitan LibraryCoinJung-gu
6Seoul Museum of HistoryCoinJongno-gu
7Seoul Science CenterCoinNowon-gu
8Buk Seoul Museum of ArtCoinNowon-gu
9Gwangjin Youth CenterCoinGwangjin-gu
10Guro Youth CenterCoinGuro-gu
11Jungnang Youth CenterCoinJungnang-gu
Seoul City to Add 200 Facilities This Year upon Receiving High Satisfaction Rate for Emergency Sanitary Pad Dispensers
Free dispenserUsing a free dispenser
CoinCoin box and guide (information desk)

Seoul City Introduces ‘Seoul-Type Alternative Schools’ to Secure Public Education-Level Learning Rights for Out-of-School Teens

With an estimated 80,000 (cumulative number) ‘out-of-school teens’ in Seoul who dropped out of school, Seoul City is set to promote a ‘Seoul-Type Alternative School’ model that guarantees the rights to learning equality at public education level. Starting with 15 schools in 2020, Seoul plans to designate and operate 45 schools by 2022.

The city will increase support for unaccredited alternative schools that used to offer education in only half the level of institutional education. ‘Seoul-Type Alternative Schools’ will be selected from among the existing 82 unaccredited alternative schools in Seoul, and municipal support will be increased from 40% to 70% of the total existing operation expenses.

Customized support for learning service quality and reinforced teacher capacity will also accompany the increased support. Regular studies and the ‘Visiting Humanities and Arts School Education’ will be enforced in cooperation with Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture to provide support for cultivation of cultural sensibility and creative intelligence of teens at alternative schools. To foster the capacities of alternative school teachers, the ‘Seoul-Type Alternative School Operation Support Team’ will be initiated for the development and supplementation of educational programs as well as teacher training and education.

Support that reflects the political demands of out-of-school teens regarding internships, qualification examinations, and license acquisitions will be extended and fortified while scholarships will be newly organized for tuition support of low-income teens.

Starting with the first semester of this year, alternative school students will receive the same free eco-friendly meals as students of elementary, middle, and high schools. In addition, alternative schools will work together with nearby youth centers to support students’ use of various creative and experiential programs and work to promote reduced fees for students’ use of facilities such as swimming pools, gyms, and career experience facilities.

For students who have previously been excluded from benefits because they did not possess ‘Student Cards,’ issuance of ‘Teen Cards’ will be expanded to provide teens outside of public education with the same status as other students, in an effort to resolve the problem of discrimination in the use of cultural and leisure facilities or in receiving student transportation expense discounts.

Hospitals and Pharmacies Open During the New Year’s Holiday

During the New Year’s holiday (Feb. 2-6, 2019), Seoul will install emergency treatment centers, designate and operate emergency and on-call medical treatment centers as well as holiday pharmacies for use of nearby hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies by citizens.

The emergency rooms of 67 emergency medical treatment centers and general hospitals will be open 24 hours as usual, and on-call medical treatment centers should be visited after confirming their open hours. A total of 67 emergency medical treatment centers will be open, which include ▲31 local emergency centers including Seoul Medical Center, ▲17 local emergency medical treatment centers including Seoul Dongbu Hospital, and ▲19 hospital emergency rooms including Seoul Seonam Hospital. A total of 2,993 hospitals and clinics other than emergency medical treatment centers will provide medical treatment services for primary treatment of patients during the holiday period. The selected 3,312 pharmacies near on-call medical treatment centers will be open during the holiday for citizen convenience.

Information on hospitals and clinics open in each neighborhood during the holiday period can easily be found via phone call, the Internet, and the smartphone app. Locations can also be found through the 119 Emergency Situation Control Center, Seoul and autonomous districts, and the National Emergency Medical Center websites.

Digestives, antipyretics, cold medicine and four types of medication (13 items) can be easily purchased at 7,122 convenience stores and stores that sell safe household medicine. Citizens can call 119 (Emergency Situation Control Center), 120 (Dasan Call Center) or the smartphone app ‘Emergency Medical Treatment Information (e-gen)’ for more information.

Seoul Situation Room Operations During New Year’s Holiday

Call 120 or 119 for information on emergency and on-call medical treatment centers, pharmacies and first aid guide during the New Year’s holiday period

Seoul and the autonomous districts will operate emergency treatment centers during the New Year’s holiday period to alleviate citizen inconvenience and offer information on open hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies.

  • Holiday period: Feb. 2-6, 2019 (5 days)
  • Contact information for emergency treatment centers open during New Year’s holiday
Seoul Situation Room Operations During New Year’s Holiday
Gwangjin-gu450-1993Eunpyeong-gu351-8000Yeongdeungpo2670-4805Emergency Situation Control CenterJust dial 119
Dongdaemun-gu2127-5454Seodaemun-gu330-1843Dongjak-gu820-1616Dasan Call CenterJust dial 120