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 scenery
  • Buffering Forest: Buffer roadside noise and scenery

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 convenience in addition to Sebit Forest’s tree-shaded rest areas.

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

Pet Playground to Open Through New Year’s Holiday

Due to the high satisfaction rate of the ‘Pet Playground’ in World Cup Park that was in pilot operation for the winter season, pet playgrounds will open in Children’s Grand Park and Boramae Park starting February 2, 2019, and all playgrounds will be open through the New Year’s holiday from February 2-6. The city will open and operate the two pet playgrounds at Children’s Grand Park and Boramae Park during the winter season without closing.

Seoul will reopen two pet playgrounds starting February 2 at ▲Children’s Grand Park in Gwangjin-gu (next to the Guuimun Entrance parking lot) and ▲Boramae Park in Dongjak-gu (next to the park’s southernmost Hyanggiwon), and the pet playground at Sangam-dong World Cup Park (next to the Pyeonghwa Park parking lot) will begin regular operations following its wintertime pilot operation.

The three pet playgrounds will open on the morning of February 2 and will remain open during the holiday period (Feb. 2-6). The playgrounds will be open 24 hours and free of charge. However, they will be closed for the safety of citizens and their pets upon official announcements of special weather reports (cold wave, fine dust, scorching heat, etc.).

For safe use of the pet playgrounds, pet owners under the age of 13 (children) can visit with an adult chaperone. Admission of pets suspected to be infected with diseases, fierce dogs, and pets in heat will be restricted. Pet owners will be required to bring waste bags and leashes to remove pet waste and prepare for unexpected behavior of their pets.

Pet Playground Locations

Children’s Grand Park (Hill next to Guuimun Entrance parking lot)

World Cup Park (Next to large parking lot of Sangam-dong Pyeonghwa Park)

Boramae Park (Next to the Boramae Park southernmost Hyanggiwon in Sindaebang-dong)

Seoul to Distribute 7,090 Divisions for Eco-Friendly Weekend Farming Starting February 1

Starting at 9 a.m. on February 1 (Friday), Seoul will begin distributing 7,090 divisions of land as part of “Together Seoul Eco-friendly Farms” in fourteen areas near Seoul, including Namyangju, Yangpyeong, Gwangju, and Goyang-si, on a first come, first served basis via the Seoul City website ( Distributed farms can be used freely between April and November.

“Together Seoul Eco-friendly Farms” consists of 7,090 divisions of land at 16.5㎡ (standard 5 pyeong) in the Hangang River Water Supply Protection Area of the Namyangju, Yangpyeong, and Gwangju regions, and in Goyang-si located west of Seoul. The project has been in operation since 2000 to provide citizens the opportunity for healthy use of leisure time.

Seoul will offer 30,000 KRW of support per 16.5㎡ (5 pyeong) for farm rentals in addition to free provision and support of seeds, lettuce seedlings, organic fertilizer, pesticide, and farming education material.

Citizens who participate in weekend farming will pay a rent of 30,000 KRW (70,000 KRW in Goyang-si) per farm division to the water supply protection area, and payments can be made via credit card or virtual account.

Further inquiries can be made through the Seoul City website (, Dasan Call Center (120), or the Seoul Metropolitan Government Urban Farming Division (☎2133-5398, 5388).

Photos of Together Seoul Eco-friendly Farms

Photos of Together Seoul Eco-friendly Farms

Seoul Distributes Guidelines for Protecting Against the Violation of Children’s and Teen’s Human Rights

Seoul plans to establish 「Guidelines on Human Rights for Children and Teens」 for distribution this year to actively inform young people. Due to the lack of information on appropriate measures protecting against the violations of young people’s human rights, professionals who have worked with children and adolescents have struggled to identify and respond to laws and precedent.

According to a comparison between national research data from 2015 on the state of children and adolescent’s human rights in Korea as a whole and in Seoul, the percentage of youths who experienced discrimination based on gender, school performance, or age in Seoul was 1.9% higher than young people from other parts of the country.
Seoul does not guarantee human rights concerning child and youth labor, nor does Seoul have enough places or facilities that young people can freely use or play in.

Hence, Seoul is in the process of promoting education that will heighten sensitivity to human rights failures on the basis of the 「2018 Ordinance on Human Rights for Children and Teens」 and the 「2017 Survey on Human Rights for Children and Teens」 and establish the 「Guidelines on Human Rights for Children and Teens」 that will provide substantial human rights information for actual application to children’s and teens’ lives.

The 「Guidelines on Human Rights for Children and Teens」 includes thirty-six concrete cases from the eight areas of health, violence, freedom of expression, freedom of privacy, labor, education, safety, and self-determination and presents a judgment standard of human rights protection based on precedent, presenting measures and countermeasures. The guideline addresses potential violations of human rights through cases or facilities that young people tend to be curious about and explains the countermeasures in detail.

Seoul will distribute the 「Guidelines on Human Rights for Children and Teens」 in 100 youth facilities and institutes throughout the city, on the city website (, and on facility websites for all citizens to utilize.

Seoul will be Extending Last Train and Bus Times On February 5-6 for “Special Traffic Measures for the New Year’s Holiday”

Seoul will be implementing “Special Traffic Measures for the New Year’s Holiday” to greet the national New Year’s holiday. Times for last train and bus will be pushed back for citizens returning home or coming back to Seoul late at night. Traffic will be dispersed throughout the city’s expressways according to the traffic prediction service, and the operation of bus-only lanes will be extended for more quick and comfortable trips in and out of Seoul.

<Extended last train and bus times on the day of and the day after the holiday, and Owl buses will run for a full 24 hours>
On New Year’s Day (the 5th) and the following day (the 6th) when heavy traffic is expected due to people returning to Seoul, last train and bus times will be extended to 2 A.M. of the next day. Nine Owl bus lines and 2,995 nighttime taxis will operate normally through the holiday period to ameliorate the discomfort of moving around the city after arriving in Seoul late at night.
Subway lines 1-9 and the Ui-Sinseol LRT will run until 2 A.M., based on their arrival time at their last stations.

City bus times will also be extended until 2 A.M.. This is applicable to 130 routes that pass through five train stations (Seoul Station, Yongsan Station, Yeongdeungpo Station, Cheongnyangni Station, Suseo Station) and four bus terminals (Seoul Express Bus [Gangnam] Terminal, Dongseoul Bus Terminal, Nambu Bus Terminal, Sangbong Terminal).

<Traffic will be easier and faster thanks to the traffic prediction service and extended operation of bus-only lanes>
Traffic predictions provided by big data analytics will help citizens check and make travel plans. The Seoul Transport Operation & Information Service website ( and the Seoul TOPIS app will provide daily and hourly predictions about congested areas and route times in addition to public transportation route operation times and special traffic measures for the holiday.

Major building, terminal, and subway station last train times

【 Terminal 】

  • Express Bus Terminal (Line 3)
    • ○ Ogeum-bound 01:16, Suseo-bound 01:42
    • ○ Daehwa-bound 00:16, Gupabal-bound 01:22, Apgujeong-bound 01:54
  • Express Bus Terminal (Line 7)
    • ○ Bupyeong-gu Office-bound 01:04, Onsu-bound 01:33, Sinpung 01:55, Naebang 02:16
    • ○ Jangam-bound 00:51, Dobongsan-bound 01:16, Konkuk Univ.-bound 01:38, Cheongdam-bound 02:02
  • Express Bus Terminal Station (Line 9)
    • ○ Gaehwa-bound 01:04, Magongnaru-bound 01:18, Yeomchang-bound 01:33, Dongjak-bound 01:48
    • ○ VHA Medical Center-bound 01:33, Sinnonhyeon-bound 01:53
  • Nambu Bus Terminal (Line 3)
    • ○ Ogeum-bound 01:21, Suseo-bound 01:47
    • ○ Daehwa-bound 00:11, Gupabal-bound 01:17, Apgujeong-bound 01:50
  • Gangbyeon Bus Terminal (Line 2)
    • ○ Inner line: Seongsu-bound 00:32, Euljiro 1(il)-ga-bound 00:54, Hongik Univ.-bound 01:16, Seoul Nat’l Univ.-bound 01:38, Samseong-bound 02:00
    • ○ Outer line: Samseong-bound 00:56, Sindorim-bound 01:18, Hongik Univ.-bound 01:40, Seongsu-bound 02:02

【 Train Station 】

  • Seoul Station (Line 1)
    • ○ Seodongtan-bound 23:06, Byeongjeom-bound 23:37, Incheon-bound 00:28
    • ○ Soyosan-bound 00:09, Kwangwoon Univ.-bound 00:51, Dongmyo-bound 01:48
  • Seoul Station (Line 4)
    • ○ Oido-bound 23:44, Geumjeong-bound 00:40, Sadang-bound 01:44
    • ○ Danggogae-bound 01:23, Hansung Univ.-bound 01:46
  • Cheongnyangni Station (Line 1, Korea Railroad)
    • ○ Seodongtan-bound 22:47, Byeongjeom-bound 23:19, Incheon-bound 00:09, Seoul Station-bound 01:42
    • ○ Soyosan-bound 00:28, Kwangwoon Univ.-bound 01:09
  • Suseo Station (Line 3)
    • ○ Daehwa-bound 23:55, Gupabal-bound 01:01, Apgujeong-bound 01:33
    • ○ Ogeum-bound 01:37

Seoul Promotes ‘Top 5 New Year’s Comprehensive Plan’ for Safety, Transportation, Sharing, Consumer Prices, and Convenience

Seoul will enforce the Top 5 New Year’s Comprehensive Plan centering on safety, transportation, sharing, convenience and consumer prices for 10 days from Jan. 29 (Tue) to Feb. 7 (Thu) for citizens’ safety and comfort during the Lunar New Year Holidays.

During this period, from Feb. 1 (Fri) to Feb. 7 (Mon), a task force in the five areas of fire safety, snow removal, transportation, consumer prices, and medical treatment will be organized, operating the 24-hour ‘Comprehensive Situation Room’ on the first floor of Seoul City Hall that oversees and regulates the five areas in order to be prepared against any urgent situations which may arise during the holiday.

The comprehensive plan consists of the five areas of ①safety ②transportation ③sharing ④convenience ⑤consumer prices.

Top 5 New Year’s Comprehensive Plan
CategoryMain Content
Safety▸Before holiday period (Jan. 8 – Jan. 22): Fortification of special fire investigation and safety management of traditional markets, department stores, and multi-purpose facilities in case of fire
▸During holiday period (Feb. 1 – Feb. 7): Enforcement of special fire alert service and maintenance of its operation at all times
Transportation▸Extended operation of subway and buses until 2am (Feb. 5 – Feb. 6, based on arrival at the last subway station and departure of buses)
▸22% increase in express and intercity buses per day, 48% increase of daily users (compared to the norm)
▸Operation of night buses (9 routes, 72 buses) until 3:45am, night taxis (2,955) by 9:00am the following day
Sharing▸Care package support for basic income households, briquet support for low-income residents, energy voucher support
▸Providing basic necessities for neighbors in need, boiler inspection, and special New Year’s program
Convenience▸Operation of 120 Dasan Call Center during holiday period, cleanliness control of crowded areas by 365 Cleaning Squad
▸Construction of emergency medical system during holiday period with the operation of emergency medical treatment centers (total of 4,793 locations)
Consumer Prices▸High-demand New Year’s products to be brought into Garak Market, with a 10% increase in amount as compared to the average supply over the past five years
▸Revitalization of traditional markets with traditional market’s Lunar New Year events (Jan. 25 – Feb. 3), with parking approval on nearby roads, etc.

General information about traffic, traditional markets, cultural events, hospitals, and pharmacies in Seoul during the Lunar New Year holiday can be found on the Seoul City website and ‘Mobile Seoul’ app, 120 Dasan Call Center (☎02-120), and 120 Dasan Call Center on Twitter (

Seoul Mandates the Installment of ‘95% Fine Dust-filtering’ Ventilation Equipment in New Buildings

New construction, extension, and remodeling of buildings in Seoul will require the installment of ‘mechanical ventilation equipment’ that will filter out more than 95% of fine dust. These buildings will also be required to install the eco-friendly condensing boilers that reduce 77% of nitrogen oxide, which is the main cause of fine dust, as compared to regular boilers.

This is the attempt to filter out fine dust that flow into buildings and reduce the formation of fine dust within buildings to provide citizens who spend many hours in buildings with a safe indoor environment that protects against fine dust.

Seoul examined the [Green Building Standards] and established plans to increase ‘Green Buildings’ by applying them to cases requesting construction approval from City Hall and the district office from February 24, in an effort to reduce fine dust. Upon approval for construction by Seoul City and autonomous districts, the mandated installments will be implemented by checking to see whether Green Building Standards were reflected in construction designs.

Furthermore, the new building standard mandates that residential buildings with more than thirty households and non-residential buildings of more than 3,000m2 in total area must install solar-powered equipment that amounts to 5% capacity of the ground area.