Opening of the ‘4th Seoul Youth Council’

Opening of the ‘4th Seoul Youth Council’

Seoul hosted the 4th Seoul Youth Council on May 11-12, 2019. The 4th Seoul Youth Council was comprised of the Seoul Children and Youth Participation Committee, which includes young people from 25 autonomous districts with experience in youth-participatory organizations, as well as youths hoping to become active in the Youth Council.

Young members who became council members this year, in 2019, made pledges at the opening ceremony, received commissions, and officially began their activities in the council.

The members took part in political activities in the following areas of the four standing committees: △humanities education, △living and welfare, △culture and participation, and △human rights and ethics. The committee chairperson and vice-chairperson of each standing committee, as well as one chairperson and two vice-chairpersons of the Youth Council were directly elected by the youths on the day of the opening ceremony.

Following the opening ceremony, the Youth Council discussed issues or circumstances related to youths in the local community, in addition to standing committee activities for policy introductions.

The general meeting will commence in November. A total of 24 policies were proposed at the general meeting in 2018 and 14 of them were reflected after examination.

As part of measures to eradicate the recently growing issue of sexual assault in schools, the sexual assault report box installment policy proposed by the Youth Council was reflected, leading to a push for the installment of a direct hotline between the Women’s Association and the superintendent of education by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education. The final policy decided by this year’s general meeting will be examined by the appropriate department and reflected in the Seoul Municipal Government.

6-km Section of Gyeongchun Line (Railroad) Forest Open to Public

Seven years after the beginning of the revitalization of the Gyeongchun Line (Railroad) Forest project by Seoul in 2013, the entire 6-km section of the forest has been completely connected to allow for uninterrupted walking.

Following the three sectional openings, the city completed the connection of the final 0.4-km section (from the entrance of Seoul National University of Science & Technology to the Gongdeok 2 Railway Crossing and Happy Housing office) that was left incomplete due to the construction of the Happy Housing office. The completed Gyeongchun Line (Railroad) Forest is now officially and fully open to the public.

The Gyeongchun Line (Railroad) Forest was transformed into a green park through Seoul’s Urban Regeneration Project of the abandoned Gyeongchun Line site following the discontinuance of the use of the railway in December of 2010. The old railroad track and structure was preserved while utilizing traces of the railway to plant flowers and trees for the creation of a “forest line.”

The newly opened section will be home to a photo exhibition incorporating the opening processes of the entire Gyeongchun Line (Railroad) Forest section. The exhibition will feature images of the Gyeongchun Line (Railroad) from its first installment in 1936, to its closing in 2010, and its transformation into a forest.

Each section of the Gyeongchun Line (Railroad) Forest has a special quality and charm. The first section hosted the transformation of a house into a café, to become a space of meeting and communication among residents. The second section is a park created by citizens that contains a vegetable garden and various trees. The third section consists of a railroad track in the forest where visitors can take quiet walks together with the history of the old Hwarangdae.

6-km Section of Gyeongchun Line (Railroad) Forest Open to Public
Section Areas Distance Time of Opening
Section 1 Gongdeok 2 Railway Crossing – Yuksa Samgeori 1.9 ㎞ May 2015
Section 2 Gyeongchun Railroad Bridge – entrance of Seoul National Univ. of Science & Technology 1.2 ㎞ November 2016
Section 3 Yuksa Samgeori – border of Guri-si 2.5 ㎞ October 2017

Seoul Becomes Friendly with Tel Aviv, Israel

Israel’s economic capital of Tel Aviv, that has come to the forefront as the world’s finest startup city, will form a friendly relationship with Seoul, as well as a cooperative relationship. This is Seoul’s first friendly relationship with a city in Israel and the third with a city in the Middle East, after Tehran, Iran and Muscat, Oman.

Mayor Park Won-soon, who is currently visiting Tel Aviv, Israel, met with Mayor Ron Huldai at Tel Aviv City Hall to conclude an MOU on friendly exchanges and cooperation between Seoul and Tel Aviv.

With the Friendly City Agreement, the two cities will cooperate on improving the startup ecosystem, as well as in areas of innovative startups, culture and tourism, smart city, traffic, social innovation, shared economy, and sustainable development.

With Seoul’s current focus on innovative startups under the key strategy of changing the economic map in the future, the city’s new partnership with Tel Aviv, a global startup city that houses a concentration of 70% of Israel’s high-tech industries, will aim to fortify the construction of Seoul’s innovative startup ecosystem.

Tel Aviv is the heart of the country’s economy, located along Israel’s western Mediterranean coast. Though it was once a small port city, Tel Aviv began to see full-scale development with the migration of individuals of Jewish background to the area in 1909.

The city became one of the world’s top startup cities with its implementation of various policies for the attraction of foreign investors and businesses, and provision of optimal working environments for early startups. The city understands that Mayor Ron Huldai, who has been mayor of Tel Aviv since 1998 for five consecutive terms, has played a significant role in the city’s growth. The population of Tel Aviv, that once recorded a forty-year negative growth, has now experienced a 10% increase in growth during Mayor Ron Huldai’s terms in office.

Mayor Park Won-soon visited “FutuRx,” Israel’s biotech, innovative startup incubator, to discuss cooperative measures with the Hongneung’s “Seoul Biohub,” the base location for the fostering of Seoul’s biotech industries.

Introducing Seoul’s Walking Tour Courses

Introducing Seoul’s Walking Tour Courses

Seoul will be introducing three walking courses (Deoksugung Palace – Jeong-dong Course, Mongchontoseong Fortress Course, Seoullo Night Course) to the city’s already-existing 33 walking tour courses.

The first course, the Deoksugung Palace – Jeong-dong Course, starts at Deoksugung Palace and travels along the tranquil stone wall path, passing the Seoul Museum of Art, the Chungdong First Methodist Church, and the Former Russian Legation (2.3 km, 2-hour course) for a tour of Korea’s modern, present-day history. The second course, the Mongchontoseong Fortress Course, is themed around the history and nature of Baekje, following a path that passes by the Pungnaptoseong Fortress, Mongchontoseong, the Peace Plaza, and the Seoul Baekje Museum (4 km, 2-hour, 30-minute course) for spiritual healing in the city. The last course, the Seoullo Night Course, offers a view of the beautiful, natural scenery of Seoul’s representative tourist attraction, Namsan Mountain, from Seoullo to Hanyangdoseong (Seoul City Wall), Baekbeom Plaza, and Sungnyemun Gate (2 km, 2-hour course).
Seoul currently operates 33 Seoul Walking Tour Courses with cultural tour guides. Reservations can be made for free at the Seoul Walking Tour website (, with guides available in four languages (Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese).

Seoul Holds Safe Seoul Festival for All Generations

Seoul Holds Safe Seoul Festival for All Generations

In an effort to become a safer city, Seoul will be hosting the 2019 Safe Seoul Festival at the Yeouido Park Culture Plaza for three days, from May 9-11, 2019.

This year, with the theme, “A place of safety and sympathy where all generations can participate together,” the Safe Seoul Festival will begin on May 9 with an opening event, comprehensive safety experience programs, and safety cultural events. The festival will offer theme-related programs and events until May 11.

The 2019 Safe Seoul Festival will greet the public, offering safety experience programs that all generations can understand. The festival will have comprehensive safety experiences that address fires, traffic, life, the environment, and the prevention of particulate matter, which has recently become a growing societal problem. The cultural event will incorporate a safety cultural event through which all generations can fully comprehend safety, private-public emergency relief training in preparation for disasters, and an international seminar that aims to be a hub for sharing safe, global policies. The festival will proceed as a cultural event offering safety-sympathizing experiences of various forms for all ages.

There will be a total of 86 safety experience programs in five different categories. The five categories include ① 17 fire safety programs, ② 11 traffic safety programs, ③ 18 living safety programs, ④ 18 car experience programs, and ⑤ 22 societal programs.

The festival will also be hosting smaller activities for citizens to enjoy. During the festival, at noon, there will be concerts, as well as a hot air balloon experience, cafes and food trucks, a fire-fighter musical, and an animation character parade.

Mayors of Seoul and London Discuss Cooperation on Low Emission Zones

Mayors of Seoul and London Discuss Cooperation on Low Emission Zones

Mayor Park Won-soon of Seoul met with London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan at London City Hall. The two mayors discussed cooperative measures regarding the growth of innovative startups, a topic of interest common to both cities, as well as the fintech industry, attraction of foreign investments, and improvement of air quality.

The two mayors first shared the current states of the “Environment-friendly Car Rating System” that both cities have promoted to reduce particulate matter, and then agreed to continue their internationally cooperative relationship to solve the problem of air quality.

Following this joint declaration, Seoul took the lead in introducing an environment-friendly rating system by offering a strong governmental proposal. The city’s Metropolitan Council then passed eight bills, including the “Special Act on Fine Dust Reduction and Management,” that were enforced starting in February 2019 through various policies. Seoul is currently the only city in the nation to implement operational restrictions on five-grade vehicles after the official announcement of emergency reduction measures. Furthermore, the city plans to enforce a trial project of regular operational restrictions on five-grade gas emission vehicles in “green traffic areas” as part of its traffic demand management in consideration of the atmospheric environment.

London was the first major city in the world to jointly declare and begin enforcement of the “Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)” policy for restrictions on vehicle operations in order to solve the chronic problem of air quality in the city.

Furthermore, Mayor Park Won-soon and Mayor Sadiq Khan sought to compose cooperative measures in the economic field. Seoul has made economy revival its key project with the completion of the seventh popular elections and focuses on revitalizing urban industries and the city’s capabilities when it comes to innovative startups. London has promoted a change in its economic paradigm through recent innovative growth amid difficult interior and exterior conditions such as Brexit.

The meeting between Mayor Park and Mayor Khan is their first meeting in two years after Mayor Park’s visit to London in 2017. At the first meeting, the two mayors discussed various exchange and cooperative plans based on their commonality as mayors who have responded to climate changes, taken the lead in social integration and innovation following their inauguration into office as human rights lawyers and members of civic organizations, and concluded an agreement that paved the way for cooperation in nine areas including economic democratization.

Mayor of Seoul Visits Three Middle Eastern and European Countries for Strategic Planning of Innovative Startups


Mayor Park Won-soon will be making visits in the Middle East and Europe from May 1-8, 2019. This will be his first visit to the Middle East in six years after his visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2013. He will visit the three cities of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, London, England, and Tel Aviv, Israel.

The keywords theming this round of visits is “Innovative Startups.” Mayor Park Won-soon presented startups as the solution to reviving the economy, a project emphasized by the municipal government. This time, he will make his very first visit to Israel, a global startup nation that has created the world’s number one cyber security business. Mayor Park will meet with important figures to actively seek advice on policies and ideas for creating an ecosystem for Seoul, a city open to startups, as well as to propose exchanges and collaborations with Seoul’s businesses. A friendly city agreement will be concluded with Tel Aviv, the economic center of Israel, thus opening a gateway seeking exchanges, collaborations, and cooperation in various areas, including Israel’s forte, innovative startups.

The two-night, three-day visit to London will take place during the UK Fintech Week, which will stress Seoul’s sales in London, a global financial center. Mayor Park Won-soon will take the stand at the “Seoul Investor Relations (IR).”

In the UAE, the mayor will meet with high-ranking officials of the UAE government, as follow-up measures of the MOU was concluded between Seoul and the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment at the Korea-UAE Summit in February 2019. This visit is being made in order to offer a concrete proposal for the formation of a UAE-customized “Upcycling Landmark.”

Korea’s First Botanical Park, “Seoul Botanic Park,” Officially Opens May 1

Seoul Botanic Park
Plant Culture Center (Greenhouse + Educational & Cultural Space)
Lake Garden Botanic Garden (Medicative Garden)
Greenhouse (Mediterranean Zone) Greenhouse (Tropical Zone Skywalk)

Seoul’s first botanical park, Seoul Botanic Park, will officially open its doors on May 1 after concluding its trial operation.
All zones of the greenhouse (Tropical and Mediterranean Zones) that were closed for two months from March 2019 due to inside supplementation will be open to the public starting at 9:30 a.m. on May 1. The “Marsh Park,” one of the four sections of the garden (Forest Field, Botanic Garden, Lake Garden, Wetland), that was previously closed due to preparatory work will open on the same day, allowing for full use of the entire 504,000 ㎡ area.

The garden’s currently-owned 3,100 types of plants will be expanded to 8,000 types to actively collect plants and actively promote institutional exchange, research, and propagation with the goal of becoming Korea’s representative city-type botanical garden.

The greenhouse will feature the Victoria lily that was first discovered by the Amazon River, a wild tree that grows in Queensland, Australia, an olive tree brought in from Spain, and other rare plants that are difficult to find in Korea and that are also in line with the exhibition concept of plants from twelve cities around the world.

Seoul Botanic Park is a “Botanical Garden + Park” within a space that is the first to be introduced in the country under the concept of an organic fusion of “park” and “botanical garden.”

The four spaces of the garden include the ▴Forest Field, ▴ Botanic Garden, ▴Lake Garden, and ▴Wetland. Starting from the opening day on May 1, the Theme Garden will be in operation from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for a small fee, and the park areas (Forest Field, Lake Garden, Wetland) will be open year-round (24 hours) at no charge. The Botanic Garden can be accessed at KRW 5,000 for adults, KRW 3,000 for teens, and KRW 2,000 for children.

The Botanic Garden can be accessed
Category Cost (KRW) Additional Comments
Children: ages 6-12
Teens: ages 13-18
Adults: ages 19-65
Groups: more than 30 people entering at the same time with same intent

Through Seoul Botanic Park, the city plans to ▴develop plant culture, ▴take the lead in plant diversification research, ▴establish a citizen-participatory park culture, and ▴realize the value of a growing botanical garden.

General botanical gardens aim for plant research and preservation, but Seoul Botanic Park considers the improvement of plant culture in citizens’ lives as an important project and plans to focus on providing citizens various experiences related to plants.

Seoul Botanic Park website:

Introducing Seoul Through Arirang TV, the International Broadcasting Network

Introducing Seoul Through Arirang TV, the International Broadcasting Network

Seoul will further extend its urban marketing with the Korea International Broadcasting Foundation’s Arirang TV, which is viewed by nearly 140 million households in 105 countries throughout the world in Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania.

For example, Seoul’s excellent policies or information on lifestyle, culture, travel, and events that are helpful to foreigners will be broadcasted, as news, in English to viewers around the globe through Arirang TV’s overseas broadcasts and on SNS channels. A special program introducing Seoul will be produced utilizing the global network held by Arirang TV to promote telecasting on influential television media in England and America. A Seoul publicity video starring globally recognized celebrities will be made to introduce to the world the harmony of tradition and modernity found in Seoul.

On April 29, 2019, Seoul concluded the “Seoul-International Broadcasting Foundation MOU on Overseas Publicity” to launch the overseas, partnered marketing.

Both parties agreed to five areas of cooperation: ① support for overseas joint publicity and marketing activities for Seoul, ② production and expansion of English news programs, ③ co-production and support for publicity and news programs, ④ provision of data and information for broadcast production related to publicity and provision of production benefits, and ⑤ provision of a discounted rate in advertisement inserts and sharing of mutually retained resources.

Furthermore, in addition to joint marketing with the Korea International Broadcasting Foundation, Seoul plans to begin global marketing projects with production and expansion of online and offline urban publicity and advertising contents in Southeast Asia, where there is higher recognition of Seoul, and to publicize Seoul at festivals in major cities around the world.

Traffic Control at Jongno During the “2019 Yeon Deung Hoe”

With the opening of the 2019 Yeon Deung Hoe (Lotus Lantern Festival), Seoul will close off all lanes from the Sejong-daero Intersection to the Heunginjimun Gate, and Jangchungdan-ro, in stages, from 1:00 p.m. on May 4 to 3:00 a.m. on May 5, 2019 for the lantern parade and movement of movable Jongno Central Bus Stop.

※ Plans for Traffic Control

Plans for Traffic Control
Control Day and Time Control Sections Control Method
May 4 1:00 p.m. – May 5, 3:00 a.m. Jongno (Heunginjimun Gate ↔ Jongno 1-ga) Complete control of both sides of the streets
5.4 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Jangchungdan-ro (in front of Dongguk Univ. ↔Heunginjimun Gate)
5.4 6:00 p.m. – May 5, 1:00 a.m. Jongno (Sejong-daero intersection ↔ Jongno 1-ga intersection)
Ujeongguk-ro (Anguk intersection ↔ Jongno 1-ga intersection)
May 5 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. (midnight) Ujeongguk-ro (Anguk intersection ↔ Jongno 1-ga intersection)

“Yeon Deung Hoe” (Lotus Lantern Festival), National Intangible Cultural Heritage No. 122, will open throughout Jogyesa Temple on Ujeongguk-ro and in Jongno for three days, from May 3 – 5, 2019. This year, Seoul will host the “Exhibition of Traditional Lanterns (along Cheonggyecheon Stream),” “Eoulim Madang (Dongguk Univ.),” “Lantern Parade (throughout Jongno),” “Hoehyang Hanmadang (Jonggak Intersection),” and other various cultural events.

Yeon Deung Hoe is Korea’s traditional cultural lantern festival that has been passed down for 1,200 years from Unified Silla. It was designated as National Intangible Cultural Heritage No. 122 in 2012. Additionally, the Yeon Deung Hoe Preservation Committee has sponsored Yeon Deung Hoe while training successors in order to pass down and preserve Yeon Deung Hoe, and opening traditional lantern production classes, international symposiums, and more.

The main event, “Lantern Parade,” will take place on May 4 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., starting at Heunginjimun Gate and ending at Jogyesa Temple. This year’s parade will take place with the theme, “Lighting Up Seoul with a Parade of 100,000 Lanterns.” Anyone can participate in the Lantern Parade and watch the parade from viewing sections installed along Jongno.

At the end of the Lantern Parade, between 9:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on May 4, the Hoehyang Hanmadang will take place at the Jonggak Intersection. Those who participate in the Lantern Parade can join together to enjoy flowers raining from the sky, along with Ganggangsulae, Daedong Nori, and more.

On May 5, there will be 120 booths of traditional cultural events in front of Jogyesa Temple. These events will consist of various experiential programs for children and the whole family in light of Children’s Day.

Seoul will be running inspections of facilities related to the Jongno central bus lanes and carry out Jongno Central Bus Station movement work for safe operation of the Lantern Parade. These preventative measures will be taken as large-scale participation by various age groups, from young children to the old and weak, is expected in this year’s Lantern Parade.

Bus routes that pass through Jongno will be in operation, but will be making detours. Those wishing to move through Jongno will need to stop at a nearby bus stop and walk or take the subway, as bus stops in the parade section will be closed.

Opening of the “Seoul Danurim Tourism Center” for Travel Support of the Travel-Weak


The Seoul Danurim Tourism Center will open its doors to offer comprehensive tourism activity support for the disabled, elderly, and other citizens who experience difficulty getting around due to physical limitations. Seoul will open the Seoul Danurim Tourism Center that provides all services related to barrier-free tourism.

Seoul plans to satisfy all tourism demands of the travel-weak through the Seoul Danurim Tourism Center, which opens this week, in addition to providing a universal environment for the travel-weak to experience the joys of travel, anytime and anywhere. The Seoul Danurim Tourism Center is expected to help Seoul grow into a city that is convenient for traveling.

In order to realize this, the city will offer barrier-free tourism information on the Seoul Darnurim Tourism website (, as well as a one-stop service that will offer customized travel counseling and reservation services for the travel-weak. The city will operate the Seoul City Bus that is equipped with wheelchair ramps, accommodative services such as the wheelchair and auxiliary device rental service, information accessibility, and improved physical environments.

Furthermore, Seoul will construct a cooperative system with related local and foreign organizations for cooperation and the sharing of related information, to provide awareness-increasing manual development and supply of tourism personnel for such increase of social awareness, and to aim for the expansion of a base for the revitalization of barrier-free tourism.

Opening of the “2019 Cultural Seoul Plaza”

On April 26, 2019 at 7 p.m., the “Cultural Seoul Plaza” will return. As a representative program of Seoul Plaza that presents a variety of cultural and artistic performances to citizens and tourists, the Cultural Seoul Plaza will greet visitors until October of this year, offering better and richer programs than last year.

The Cultural Seoul Plaza first began in 2015 and has provided opportunities for citizens to enjoy leisure along with cultural arts in their everyday lives with special performances of various genres, including classical music, gugak (traditional Korean “national music”), circus, and more. The Cultural Seoul Plaza is hosted every year at the Seoul Plaza special stage from May to October. As of 2018, a total of 246 performances have been held with a total of 280,000 spectators.

On days when performances are not scheduled at the Cultural Seoul Plaza, the stage will operate as a “Citizens’ Lounge,” on which a photo zone and piano will be installed. Visitors can rest, use the photo zone, or freely play the piano on this citizen-friendly stage.

This year, special performances will open the 2019 Cultural Seoul Plaza. Global vocalist Paul Potts, soprano Kim Soon-young, and the Millennium Symphony Orchestra that has been recognized for its performances in collaboration with world-class soloists, will all take the stage together to offer a fantastic show.

At this 80-minute performance, which will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:20 p.m., visitors will have the opportunity to listen to opera classics that are usually hard to encounter, film soundtracks that are enjoyed by people of all ages, and plenty of other orchestra performances.

Information on the 2019 Cultural Seoul Plaza’s opening ceremony, schedule, and guest appearances can be found on the Cultural Seoul Plaza website (, and additional inquiries can be made to the Seoul Culture Policy Division (82-2-2133-2541).

April-May Performance Schedule

April-May Performance Schedule
Date and Time Performers/Genre Details
April 26, 7:00 – 8:20 p.m.
Special Opening Ceremony”
Paul Potts, Kim Soon-young, Millennium Symphony Orchestra Fantastic harmonies through collaborative performance
May 2, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Indie Acoustic band performance
May 6, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Trot “Filial Concert” in celebration of Parents’ Day
May 7, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Popera (Opera Pop) Crossover music group
May 8, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Jazz & Gugak Unique performance of jazz and gugak fusion
May 15, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Jazz Original saxophone performance
May 20, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Film Music Film music (OST) concert
May 21, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Indie Hybrid two-person indie band that sings about honesty and sympathizes with reality
May 22, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Jazz A band that introduces an original sound while incorporating pop, Latin, fusion, and classical music with jazz