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.”

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.

Manila, Philippines to Acquire Seoul’s ‘Smart City’ Know-How

Three directors of disaster prevention from the City of Pasig in Metro Manila, Philippines will be visiting Seoul for three days starting March 4 to acquire know-how for the creation of a smart city from Seoul, which has been ranked ‘No. 1 in E-Government’ since 2003.

Last May, Seoul dispatched an on-site inspection team upon invitation of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to give a presentation on an autonomous, high-speed communication infrastructure, measures for creation of a CCTV control center, and the intelligent traffic system for construction of a smart city, and led a discussion on application measures.

The team visited the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the Metropolitan Integrated Control Center to analyze the urban infrastructure of Metropolitan Manila and share know-how. This visit was arranged for the promotion of actual project for induction of additional city buses and construction of an intelligent traffic system.

The visiting team plans to tour the Seoul Network Operating Center and the Seoul Cyber Security Center to learn about the autonomous information and communications network through the use of a subway tunnel, the intelligent cyber security system that protects citizens’ personal information and administrative data, and smart city infrastructure with plans to discuss substantial and cooperative measures.

The City of Pasig operates 15 city buses in Metro Manila, and Seoul will share the key know-how of Seoul’s smart traffic policies, including the Seoul Transport Operation and Information Service (TOPIS), the Bus Information System (BIS), and the Bus Management System (BMS).

Manila, Philippines to Acquire Seoul’s ‘Smart City’ Know-How
Visit to the Metro Manila Metropolitan Integrated Control Center Presentation of Smart City Excellent Policy Seminar Meeting with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority

Seoul Launches Second Foreign Residents Council with Forty-five Representatives from Twenty-six Countries

Seoul Launches Second Foreign Residents Council with Forty-five Representatives from Twenty-six Countries

Seoul will launch the second Foreign Residents Council as a window of communication and governance with foreign residents. In preparation for the increasing cultural diversity of the city population, including over 420,000 foreign residents, Seoul city organized and operated the Foreign Residents Council, a council comprised solely of foreign residents, from December 2015.

The first Foreign Residents Council, operated for three years from 2016 to 2018, developed policies that would substantially aid foreigners while also encouraging the settlement of grievances. Members also became a permanent advisory body with substantial participation in the process of establishing foreigner-related policies in the city that goes on to be reflected in as many as 80 city policies.

Primary Cases of Reflected Policy : Native language education for children of married immigrants, mention of family members on the Certificate of Alien Registration, improvement of maps and signboards in Seoul (location of embassies via use of appropriate language, etc.), and more.

In order to sustain the outcome of the first Foreign Residents Council, Seoul organized a task force from August 2018 for the selection of the second Foreign Residents Council, and following a public recruitment and fair selection process, the second Foreigner Residents Council was created.

The second Foreign Residents Council is composed of 45 representatives of 26 countries in accordance with the number of foreigners staying in Seoul and will have an active term of two years. Members include 11 representatives from Central Asia, seven from China, five from South Asia, five from Europe, four from Vietnam, and more.

The Foreign Residents Council will form a subcommittee that will collect opinions, deliberate matters, and directly make proposals related to foreign residents in the city to Mayor Park Won-soon at the General Meetings.

Mayor Park Won-soon Gives Seoul Mayor Inaugural Lecture at China’s Peking University

Mayor Park Won-soon Gives Seoul Mayor Inaugural Lecture at China’s Peking University

Mayor Park Won-soon became the first Seoul mayor to give a lecture at China’s prestigious Peking University on November 26th. Under the topic, “A new future of Northeast Asia found in the city,” Mayor Park Won-soon spoke on the issues of countermeasures for climate change, ecological civilization, new and renewable energy, urban regeneration, and innovative youth policies, while stressing the roles of cities and local governments in effectively transforming people’s lives in a time of globalization and localization. He introduced numerous innovative policies that Seoul had ventured for in the past to communicate with the youth community.

Prior to his lecture, the mayor visited China’s entrepreneurship hub, Beijing’s Z-InnoWay, also known as the heart of the start-up industry, Beijing’s own Silicon Valley.

Mayor Park Won-soon also took part in the Seoul-Beijing Climate and Environment Cooperation Forum, co-sponsored by Seoul and Beijing. The forum served as a platform of mutual policy exchange attended by over 100 members of urban climate and environment policy teams, Beijing Municipal Research Institute of Environmental Protection, as well as officials from international organizations. On this day, Seoul and Beijing established the Joint Research Team for Reduction of Particulate Matter with participation by the Seoul Research Institute of Public Health and Environment, Beijing Municipal Research Institute of Environmental Protection, and the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Monitoring Center (BMEMC).

As the first cooperative project of the joint research organization, both cities will determine the Seoul-Beijing detailed analysis of particulate matter for close examination of the cause of atmosphere deterioration and evaluate the cause of volatile organic compounds while researching for reduction measures to be enforced starting in 2019. Results of the study are scheduled to be announced in late 2019.

Mayor Park Won-soon also met with Chen Jining, the mayor of Beijing. Mayor Chen Jining visited Seoul in March 2018, for the 3rd Annual Seoul-Beijing Joint Committee Conference and met with Mayor Park Won-soon to inspect Seoul’s excellent policy assets, including the Digital Mayor’s Office, TOPIS (Transport Operation & Information Service), and Seoullo 7017.

In the evening, Mayor Park attended the Seoul-Beijing 25th Sister City Anniversary Concert, co-sponsored by Seoul and Beijing, at Beijing’s largest performance hall, the National Centre for the Performing Arts. The Seoul Metropolitan Traditional Orchestra opened the night with Arirang Fantasy and rewarded the audience with a special rendition of harmony and friendship between the Korean and Chinese cultures.

Mayor Park Won-soon Heads to Beijing to Bolster Cooperative Partnerships

Mayor Park Won-soon Heads to Beijing to Bolster Cooperative Partnerships

Mayor Park Won-soon will be visiting Beijing, China, for four days and three nights, from November 25-28, making it his first visit since his 2015 tour to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

Seoul looks to fortify cooperative relations between Seoul and Beijing in light of the 25th anniversary of the two cities’ signing of the Sister Cities Agreement and the Korea-China Growth Conference for Governors and Mayors, held on a biannual basis. Mayor Park Won-soon will supervise the Korea-China Growth Conference for Governors and Mayors where the two countries’ metropolitan council heads will gather in Beijing and speak with Premier Li Keqiang of China.

The core agenda of his Beijing visit are in environmental cooperation, economic cooperation, and youth exchange.

First, at the 2nd Korea-China Growth Conference for Governors and Mayors, the topic of environmental cooperation will be taken up by the heads of both local governments to discuss practical matters regarding the bolstering of cooperative partnerships in terms of improving the air quality. Seoul will hold a Climate and Environment Cooperation Forum with Beijing to create a center of the political exchange of urban environmental policy teams.

Second, in regard to economic cooperation, large enterprises will accompany promising, SMEs and start-ups to help revitalize Chinese investments. The Seoul China Investment Week, from November 28-29, will be co-hosted with Bank of China to offer comprehensive support for varied business opportunities among domestic enterprises.

Third, Mayor Park is set to be the first Seoul mayor to give a lecture at China’s prestigious Peking University, meet with China’s future leaders, and visit Z-InnoWay, China’s hub for entrepreneurship.

Attracting Malaysian Hallyu Fans with “Live Seoul Like I do”

The City of Seoul is attending Malaysia’s largest international tourism exhibition, MATTA Fair 2018, launching into battle to attract Malaysian tourists with “Seoul citizen daily life experience” marketing.

Malaysia is a core Southeast Asian market with high potential for growth, with a yearly average growth rate in tourists visiting Korean of 10.3%. A total of 242,400 visitors from Malaysia visited Seoul last year.

MATTA Fair 2018 will be held from September 7–9 at Putra World Trade Centre located in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, and an independent Seoul tourism publicity booth will be operated under the concept “Live Seoul Like I do.” Around 110,000 people from 14 countries will be operating 1,353 booths.

For the sake of this event’s Seoul tourism publicity, private sector-government cooperation is being pushed forward within the form of organizations related to Seoul tourism, including Espoir, SMTOWN COEX Artium, N Seoul Tower, Shinsegae Duty Free, and Sun&Moon, going along as well and directly consulting with local consumers.

Those visiting the Seoul tourism booth can drink beverages made by a barista, watch a makeup show held at the K-Beauty Zone, learn makeup techniques and try out self-makeup at a space prepared at one side of the booth.

Through VR (virtual reality), visitors can also vividly meet, some of Seoul’s tourist attractions, from Seoullo 7017 to Yeontral Park, Hangang River’s Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market, and a museum with artists affiliated with SM Entertainment on display. There is also a photo wall for BTS, who are both global Hallyu idols and honorary tourism ambassadors for Seoul.

Considering the market’s characteristic high proportion of independent travelers, Seoul’s latest tourism products are also being promoted. One of them is the ‘Discover Seoul Pass’, which is a tourism pass. With only using that (one) card, it allows its holders to visit tourist sites for free and if charged, to use it as a transportation card as well, providing an opportunity to attract tourists.

5e Festival international de l’orchestre de communauté de Séoul

Seoul Holding the Opening of Seoul Friendship Festival this Weekend at Seoul Plaza

Seoul City will hold the Seoul Friendship Festival 2018 (Sept. 1 – 2), its representative The global event, where people can enjoy a treasure trove of diverse cultures from around the world in one place.

The festival (formerly the Seoul Friendship Fair) is famous for its history and its tradition of allowing visitors to enjoy diverse cultural performances and foods from the world’s major cities and of promoting cultural exchanges.

This year’s festival, attended by Seoul’s fifteen sister and friendship cities and seventy foreign embassies in Korea, will consist of cultural performances from fifteen overseas cities, an exhibition of foods from fifty-seven countries, a city tourism fair involving fifty-three countries, a publicity exhibition by eleven international organizations and NGOs, and a world marriage culture festival.

The cultural performances will take place in Seoul Plaza, while the World Food Exhibition, which is growing in popularity every year, will be held on Mugyo-ro and Cheonggyecheon-ro. Visitors will be able to sample the cuisine of fifty-seven countries among many other attractions. Please note that those who prepare their tasting schedules in advance will have a more pleasant time.

At the City Tourism Fair, some fifty-three countries will operate promotional booths at Seoul Plaza to display and sell diverse traditional artifacts and show off their attractive tourism contents.

The World Marriage Culture Festival will feature a wide range of performances, exhibitions, experience programs and events under the theme of The global marriage culture. In particular, street parades by foreign participants wearing marriage costumes of ten countries, including Korea, are sure to attract much enthusiastic attention. Notably, Vietnam’s traditional wedding ceremony will be reenacted to provide citizens and visitors with an opportunity to experience the Southeast Asian country’s marriage culture.

In addition, major international organizations and NGOs such as the UNHCR, Green Peace, and Save the Children will attend the festival to publicize their international aid activities and run various experience programs in which Seoul citizens can take part.

Full details of the schedule can be viewed at the website of the Seoul Friendship Festival ( or Facebook (

○ Events / Venue

Events / Venue
Venue Event
Main stage at Seoul Plaza Sept. 1 (Saturday) Sept. 2 (Sunday)
14:50~15:20 16:00~17:00 17:00~20:00 12:00~16:00 16:30~17:00
▸Pre-ceremony street parade ▸Opening ceremony
▸Opening performance
▸Congratulatory performance
▸Performances by troupes from overseas cities ▸Performances by troupes from overseas cities ▸Encore performances
▸Finale performance
Seoul Plaza September 1st (Saturday) 12:00 ~ 18 :00 / September 2nd (Sunday)  12:00 ~ 17:00
World Tourism Fair, World Marriage Culture Festival, NGO Exhibition
Mugyo-ro World Food Fair, Stamp Rally
Cheonggyecheon-ro World Food Fair, Music Cafe, Stamp Rally
Events / Venue
Street Parade World Food Fair
Street Parade World Food Fair
World Tourism Fair Performances by troupes from overseas cities
World Tourism Fair Performances by troupes from overseas cities
Performances by troupes from overseas cities
Performances by troupes from overseas cities

Mayor Park Won-soon’s Lee Kuan Yew Prize, Great Achievement by Citizens

Mayor Park Won-soon received the internationally prestigious ‘Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize,’ also called the ‘Nobel Prize for Urban Administration,’ on behalf of the 10 million Seoul citizens.

On Monday, July 9 at 6:15 pm, Mayor Park Won-soon was awarded a certificate, medal, and prize money of 300 thousand Singapore dollars by Singaporean president, Halimah binti Yacob at the ‘2018 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize’ award ceremony in Singapore.

Mayor Park gave his award speech, saying that it was a great achievement by amazing citizens and expressed his gratitude to the 10 million Seoul citizens and Seoul Metropolitan Government employees that helped make this change in Seoul. He also emphasized that revolutions are the movements within the hearts of the citizens, and citizens change their lives and the city paradigm through participating in the revolution process. Seoul City plans on inviting public officials from sister cities to Seoul, and operating training programs to share Seoul’s urban regeneration policies.

The same day, before the award ceremony, there was also an arranged spot at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center to explain directly to the global city delegation the key policies that lead Seoul to its outstanding achievement of the ‘Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize.’ Designated the first transit mall, they also took time to introduce Seoul’s the various successful projects, such as ‘Sinchon Yonsei-ro,’ a road altered for pedestrians, ‘Mapo Oil Tank Culture Park,’ a 1st grade safety facility for oil reserves reborn into a complex cultural facility, ‘Seoullo 7017,’ a car road changed into a pedestrian road which turned into a tourist spot gathering 10 million visitors within a year of its opening, and more.


Mayor Park Won-soon’s Lee Kuan Yew Prize, Great Achievement by Citizens

Mayor Park Won-soon’s Lee Kuan Yew Prize, Great Achievement by Citizens

Mayor Park Won-soon Attends 2018 WCS Mayors Forum

Mayor Park Won-soon Attends 2018 WCS Mayors Forum

On July 8, Sunday, Mayor Park Won-soon was in attendance at the 2018 World Cities Summit (WCS) held in Singapore among mayors and delegates from as many as 120 cities from around the world, under the theme of ‘Liveable & Sustainable Cities: Embracing the Future through Innovation and Collaboration.’

The World Cities Summit invites mayors from major cities all over the world, as well as key figures from political, financial and academic spheres, to collectively share in an innovative blueprint that enables the restoration of a liveable and sustainable city infrastructure. This biennial summit also serves as a platform to promote new, collaborative partnerships.

Mayor Park first set foot out to attend the ‘Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize.’ Recipient Forum at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center. The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is an award given out once every two years that recognizes cities that have made outstanding contributions in the creation of a liveable and sustainable city infrastructure. The prize itself maintains international recognition from across the globe, earning it the nickname, the Nobel Prize of City Administration.

Mayor Park had the opportunity to present the design for urban development to previously awarded city representatives amid preparations currently underway in the areas of Yeouido, Yongsan and other locations within Seoul, befitting of both global economic and cultural standards. He went on to provide an introduction of efforts being made to bolster public participation in metropolitan government activities while sharing in the core policies that operate as the driving force behind public participation, including the 2030 Seoul Master Plan, One Less Nuclear Power Plant Initiative, Public Participatory Budget System, etc.

Following the discussion, attendees visited the Seoul Promotional Booth opened at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center for yet another introduction to the diverse attractions Seoul has to offer.

Mayor Park Won-soon Attends 2018 WCS Mayors Forum

The booth introduced some of Seoul’s more prominent policies, including Seoullo 7017, and the Digital Civic Mayor’s Office, as the back wall and also provided screenings of promotional videos featuring globally-renowned photographer, Steve McCurry, and the popular K-pop boy band and Seoul promotional ambassador, BTS. In addition, artist Shin Eun-mi performed a live ink wash painting of the Seoullo 7017, harmoniously in sync with a Korean classical music instrumental that offered a peek into the alluring fusion of modern-day life and tradition in the city of Seoul.

Mayor Park Won-soon Attends 2018 WCS Mayors Forum

Mayor Park then made his way to the WCS Mayors Forum where he joined in the opening ceremony and roundtable discussion with other attendees to hold an in-depth deliberation on the underlying theme of the forum.

Mayor Park Won-soon Attends 2018 WCS Mayors Forum

Mayor Park Won-soon Travels to Singapore for ‘Lee Kuan Yew Prize’

Mayor Park Won-soon Travels to Singapore for ‘Lee Kuan Yew Prize’

From July 7-10, Mayor Park Won-soon will be in Singapore to receive the ‘Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize,’ which is considered the Nobel Prize for Urban Administration.

Mayor Park Won-soon will meet individually with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and discuss measures regarding Seoul-Singapore exchange and cooperation, for the peace of Northeast Asia and the common prosperity of all of Asia.

The ‘Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize’ award ceremony is held as a main event in the 2018 ‘World Cities Summit’ on July 8. Mayor Park Won-soon will accept the prize on behalf of the tens of millions of Seoul citizens, and he will directly introduce Seoul’s various urban regeneration plans that are receiving high evaluations through the progression of core joint- participation with citizens.

Seoul was selected as a prize-winning city based on the high evaluations of various urban regeneration plans that are propelled by the key power of citizen participation, such as Seoullo 7017, Sewoon Again Project, Mapo Oil Tank Culture Park, Sinchon Yeonsei-ro exclusive walking zone, and Dongdaemun re-industrialization.

Mayor Park Won-soon stated, “It was very meaningful for me to be able to receive the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize through the citizen-centered regeneration policy, at such a symbolic place of peace like Singapore after the successful North Korea-US Summit. This doesn’t end with the prize, and I am hoping that we, as world cities, and especially in regard to North Korean cities like Pyeongyang, can continue to seek out the path towards Northeast Asia’s common prosperity through the sharing of administrative know-how.