Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon Pays Visits to MERS-Related Hospitals.


On June 16, Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon paid a visit to Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital, one of the 33 MERS-free hospitals in Seoul (161 nationwide), where he inspected the status of MERS-related operations and shared some words of encouragement with the medical staff there.

He checked the separate facility (168 square meters) in front of the main building of the hospital that was installed to accommodate patients suffering from fever and respiratory symptoms as well as the negative pressure room on the fifth floor, where test samples are thoroughly screened for the virus and kept isolated and tightly contained. While speaking to the medical staff, he made a point to ask whether they were experiencing any difficulty.

Prior to his visit to this hospital, the Mayor paid visits to several other hospitals: the Seoul Medical Center, designated for patients showing serious MERS-related symptoms (June 9); Boramae Medical Center, similarly designated (June 13); Seobuk Hospital, designated for those exhibiting minor symptoms (June 14); Mediheal Hospital , in Yangcheon-gu, currently closed due to exposure to confirmed MERS patients (June 14); and Korea University Guro Hospital, designated as a MERS-free hospital (June 15).

“MERS-free hospital” refers to hospitals, designated by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), to which ordinary people can go without having to worry about contracting the virus, as patients presenting with respiratory symptoms (including suspected MERS patients) are kept separate from regular patients. In consultation with private hospitals, Seoul City will continue to designate more MERS-free hospitals.

Seoul City is currently operating three types of hospitals in connection with the current MERS outbreak: ▴ two hospitals designated for the treatment of those exhibiting serious symptoms (Seoul Medical Center and Boramae Medical Center), ▴ one hospital designated for the treatment, in a separate space, of those showing minor symptoms (Seobuk Hospital), and ▴ 59 hospitals designated for the treatment of those suspected of having contracted MERS (i.e. 25 public health centers, three Seoul City-operated hospitals, and 31 hospitals for emergency care, including those operated by Seoul National University).

▶ List of hospitals designated for the treatment of suspected MERS patients and MERS-free hospitals

Seoul Metropolitan Government Announced the “Seoul City Emergency Economic Stimulus Package”


The Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced the “Seoul City Emergency Economic Stimulus Package,” which has been developed as a means of stabilizing the livelihoods of the public and minimizing the impact of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on the weakened consumer sentiment.

As a first step, the city government will invest emergency funds of KRW 10 billion by the end of July in order to provide public jobs for approximately 2,000 unemployed youths and low-income households, who are struggling to keep themselves afloat. Particularly, the measure plans to engage those working in the culture and tourism sector as well as small merchants, who have been the hardest hit by the MERS outbreak.

Second, as emergency welfare funds, Seoul City will provide one month of living expenses, ranging from KRW 409,000 (for one-person households) to KRW 1,514,700 (for six-person households), to those who have been quarantined or hospitalized due to MERS. Benefitting from the stimulus package will be about 2,842 quarantined and hospitalized patients (as of June 13), 525 people who have recently been released from quarantine, and others who are expected to suffer related damages in the future.

Household SizeAmount of Support (KRW)
1 person409,000
2 persons696,500
3 persons901,100
4 persons1,105,600
5 persons1,310,200
6 persons1,514,700

Third, emergency funds of about KRW 200 billion will be distributed among merchants, who have been hit hard by MERS, either directly or indirectly. Also, small-sized firms and small merchants, who have been operating their businesses for more than six months, are eligible to receive special deposits and loans—a maximum of KRW 50 million per company.

In addition, restaurants, bakeries, and supermarkets—frontline sectors in close connection with the livelihood of the people—will be offered a maximum of KRW 1 million per store and a total of KRW 450 million in consulting and maintenance funds. In the future, the city government will provide additional support for merchants in connection with the government support measures.

Fourth, in order to prevent MERS from spreading through traditional markets and shopping districts, and to secure the safety of visiting citizens, 25 autonomous districts and 344 traditional markets will be equipped, very soon, with a total of 750 hand sterilizers, 5,595 hand sanitizers (875ml), and 27,714 gel-type hand disinfectants (476ml).

Fifth, Seoul City will regularly announce the current status of the MERS outbreak in the Seoul area and keep citizens updated on the city government’s measures. In addition, while collecting suggestions and concerns from each and every company and area in need of government assistance, Seoul City will request that companies with workers suspected of having come into contact with the MERS virus preserve the positions and salaries of such workers.

Lastly, by spending 58 percent of the budget subject to early execution (a combined amount of KRW 22.2895 trillion in the city and districts) in the first half of this year, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will take the lead in supporting the weakened economy and promoting consumption.

Medical institutions in Seoul equipped with MERS treatment facilities


Anyone who suspects they may have contracted MERS, or is experiencing a fever and respiratory symptoms such as coughing and phlegm, can receive treatment at a public health center or a medical institution equipped with a MERS treatment facility. At present, such facilities have been established at 25 public health centers, eight Seoul City-operated hospitals, and two public hospitals.

Suspected MERS patients who visit a public health center will be checked for MERS through a body fluid test carried out at the Seoul City-operated Research Institute of Public Health and Environment. Also, the Seoul Medical Center is carrying out tests and providing treatment, using a negative pressure room for the collection of bodily fluids.

The Seoul Medical Center and Seobuk Hospital have been designated as MERS-quarantined hospitals, and are treating MERS patients showing mild symptoms, while Boramae Medical Center has been tasked with providing intensive care for MERS patients displaying severe symptoms.

Seoul City will increase the number of MERS treatment centers in consultation with private hospitals, including tertiary hospitals.

▶ List of 25 Public Health Centers

LocationPhone numbers
3Yongsan-gu2199-6181~2, 2199-8102, 2199-8103
4Seongdong-gu2286-7040, 2286-7034
5Gwangjin-gu450-1937, 450-1936
6Dongdaemun-gu2127-5422, 2127-5409
7Jungnang-gu2094-0742, 2094-0743
8Seongbuk-gu2241-6023, 2241-6022
92241-6023, 2241-6022901-7703, 901-7704, 901-7706
10Dobong-gu2091-4481, 2091-4482
12Eunpyeong-gu351-8900, 351-8278, 351-8277
13Seodaemun-gu330-8726, 330-1886
14330-8726, 330-18863153-6380~2, 3153-9032, 3153-9033
15Yangcheon-gu2620-3856, 2620-3855
16Gangseo-gu2600-5992, 2600-5955
17Guro-gu860-3288, 860-2419
18Geumcheon-gu2627-2426, 2627-2717, 2627-2718, 2627-2686
19Yeongdeungpo-gu2670-4904, 2670-4905, 2670-4907
20Dongjak-gu820-9680, 820-9463, 820-9465
21Gwanak-gu879-7131~2, 879-7131, 879-7132
22Seocho-gu2155-8090~6, 2155-8091, 2155-8093
23Gangnam-gu3426-7980~4, 3423-7135, 3423-7134
24Songpa-gu2147-3477, 2147-3478, 2147-3481, 2147-3480
25Gangdong-gu3425-8501~2, 3425-6713, 3425-6712

▶ Eight Seoul City-operated hospital

LocationNamesPhone numbers
1Jongno-guSeoul Metropolitan Children’s Hospital2148-3552~4
2Eunpyeong-guSeobuk Hospital3156-3200, 3114
3Eunpyeong-guEunpyeong Hospital300-8126 (day), 300-8114 (night)
4Jungnang-guSeoul Medical Center2276-7113
5Dongdaemun-guDongbu Hospital920-9118~9
6Jungnang-guBukbu Hospital2036-0348
7Dongjak-guBoramae Medical Center870-2114
8Yangcheon-guSeonam Hospital6300-9119

▶ Two national and public hospitals

LocationNamesPhone numbers
1Jung-guNational Medical Center2276-2112 (MERS Countermeasure Headquarters)
2Jongno-guSeoul National University Hospital2072-2114

The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) has released a list of MERS-free hospitals. “MERS-free” refers to hospitals being run for ordinary people concerned about the possibility of having contracted MERS. So far, 22 tertiary hospitals, 61 general hospitals, and four hospitals have been designated as MERS-free hospitals, 20 of which are located in Seoul.

At MERS-free hospitals, patients experiencing respiratory symptoms receive treatment at a separate treatment facility, instead of in the emergency room. If hospitalization is necessary, they are given single-bed rooms. Patients with pneumonia are sent to an intensive-care facility after it has been determined that they are not infected with MERS.

▶ 33 MERS-free hospitals in Seoul

LocationNamesPhone numbers
1Yangcheon-guEWHA Womans University Medical Center 2650-5114
2Dongjak-guChung-Ang University Hospital6299-1114
3Guro-guKorea University Guro Hospital2626-1114
4Dongdaemun-guKyung Hee University Medical Center958-8114
5Seodaemun-guSeverance Hospital 1599-1004
6Seongbuk-guKorea University Anam Hospital 1577-0093
7Gangnam-guGangnam Severance Hospital 2019-2114
8Seongdong-guHanyang University Seoul Hospital 2290-8114
9Seocho-guSeoul St. Mary’s Hospital1588-1511
10Nowon-guEulji Hospital970-8000
11Dongdaemun-guSahmYook Medical Center 1577-3675
12Yeongdeungpo-guYeongdeungpo Hospital 2632-0013
13Yeongdeungpo-guMyongji St. Mary’s Hospital 829-7777
14Yongsan-guSoonchunhyang University Hospital709-9114
15Nowon-guInje University Sanggye Paik Hospital950-1114
16Gangdong-guVHS Medical Center 2225-1111
17Jung-guInje University Seoul Paik Hospital 2270-0114
18Gangdong-guGangdong Sungsim General Hospital2224-2114
19Gangseo-guBumin Hospital1577-7582
20Yeongdeungpo-guBurn&Scar Institute Hangangsoo2063-8383
21Jongno-guSeoul National University Hospital2072-2114
22Songpa-guAsan Medical Center1688-7575
23Jongno-guKangbuk Samsung Hospital2001-2001
24Yeongdeungpo-guYeouido St. Mary’s Hospital3779-1114
25Gangnam-guBestian Medical Center3452-7575
26Dongdaemun-guSeoul Sungsim General Hospital966-1616
27Jongno-guSeoul Red Cross Hospital2002-8000
28Dongdaemun-guSt. Paul’s Hospital958-2114
29Yeongdeungpo-guGangnam Sungsim General Hospital829-5114
30Dongjak-guBoramae Medical Center870-2114
31Dobong-guGangbuk Himchan Hospital1899-2226
32Gangnam-guThe Joeun Hospital591-3777
33Yangcheon-guMokdong Himchan Hospital1899-2221

Seoul and 20 Hospitals Fully Focused on Fighting the Spread of MERS


The Seoul Metropolitan Government held the “Private and Public Joint Response Meeting” on June 12 with experts in related areas in order to come up with an effective, specialized countermeasure to stop the spread of MERS.

After working with the Seoul Medical Association, which is fighting at the frontlines of the MERS prevention effort, to establish a cooperative system to prevent the spread of MERS, the Seoul Metropolitan Government held this meeting on June 8, in close cooperation with specialized private and public institutions, to provide assistance and seek advice on how to prevent MERS from spreading to other regions and communities of Korea.

The mayor of Seoul and the presidents of 20 hospitals, including three government-designated hospitals, six regional base hospitals, one regional public hospital, three Seoul municipal hospitals, and seven private hospitals, attended the Private and Public Joint Response Meeting.

At the meeting, the attendees discussed measures to address the issue of medical institutions refusing to treat people who have come into contact with MERS patients and focused on matters related to epidemiologic investigations and medical consultations.

Also discussed were compensation and relief plans for medical professionals and institutions that have suffered losses or damages for various reasons, such as the closing of hospitals where MERS patients were treated.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government outlined all of the measures that have been taken by hospitals to prevent the spread of MERS and established a practical cooperative measure through which operational resources at each medical institution can be identified quickly and efficiently, including the number of medical personnel and professionals, isolation rooms, negative pressure isolation rooms, subsidiary facilities, and ambulances.

The government of Seoul will make all possible efforts to resolve the MERS crisis and prevent the spread of MERS to regional communities, including sharing information through an administrative hotline and cooperating actively with private and public medical professionals at the working level.

How Many Movies Do Seoul Citizens Watch?



(Source: Mayor of London, The World Cities Culture Report 2014 / Korean Film Council, Korean Film Industry Report)

▶ In 2014, Seoul citizens went to the movies 5.9 times on average, which is the highest among major cities in the world.

London had the second highest number of cinema admissions per capita at 5.3, followed by Paris at 4.9, and Toronto and Sydney at 4.8. Among Korean cities, Seoul reported the highest number of cinema admissions per capita. The average number of cinema admissions per capita in Korea was recorded at 4.2.


▶ Although more foreign films were screened in Seoul than Korean films, the number of viewers per Korean film was higher with 65,000 viewers.

In 2014, a total of 1,138 foreign films (73.8%) and 405 Korean films (26.2%) were screened in Seoul, showing 2.9 times more foreign films than Korean. However, the total amount of sales per film was KRW 520 million, and the average number of viewers was 65,000, which are both higher than those of foreign films.


▶ The proportions of the number of viewers and total sales in theaters in Seoul were the highest in Korea at 28.9% and 27.7%, respectively.

A total of 59.51 million people (28.9%) viewed films in Seoul in 2014, and the total amount of sales was KRW 480.8 billion (27.7%). The total amount of sales for movie theaters in Seoul has shown a steady rise over the past five years, while the number of viewers rose dramatically in 2012 (18.1%) and dwindled slightly in 2014 (-0.1%).

CDC and WHO report about MERS in overseas

    “ Since May 2015, the Republic of Korea has been investigating an outbreak of MERS. It is the largest known outbreak of MERS outside the Middle East.

    CDC does not recommend that Americans change their travel plans to the Republic of Korea or other countries because of MERS. ”

    ▶ 2015.06.08

    ▶ More details :

Seoul Moves Ahead with Comprehensive Development Plan for Seoul Station Area

In May 2015, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the “Comprehensive Development Plan for the Seoul Station Area,” through which it plans to develop the Seoul Station area into a central axis of the city, connecting the industrial axis that runs from north to south and the MICE axis that runs from east to west. The Seoul Metropolitan Government will utilize the potential of the Seoul Station area, which is located at the center of Seoul and serves as the gateway to the city, with over 400,000 people coming and going every day, to turn this area into a historical, cultural, and tourist attraction and revitalize the declining local economy.

  • 서울역_종합발전계획_E

The Seoul Metropolitan Government launched this action plan after holding over 100 meetings and consultations with citizens (73 on-site consultations, seven citizen and expert opinion polls, 13 consultations with related organizations, etc.), and even reflected opposing opinions.

In preparation for the Seoul Station 7017 Project, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will begin developing the area north of the station, at the requested of the residents of the area. Following the integrated construction plan, and to secure the efficient use of the land north of the station, a replacement bridge will be installed in connection with the development plan for the area. Measures to improve traffic conditions, such as the construction of a bypass in a nearby area (Manrijae-ro – Yeomcheongyo (Bridge) – Toegye-ro) and reinforcement of the main road running east to west (Chilpae-ro – Sungnyemun (Gate)), will also be implemented.

In addition to the development of the area north of Seoul Station, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is also drawing up a plan to create a MICE axis that connects the COEX and Jamsil area, Seoul Station, Sangam and Susaek area, and KINTEX in Goyang. Through the government’s effort to revive Namdaemun Market, which has been in decline for 10 years, Namdaemun Market was selected as a “Global Luxury Market” by the central government (in April) and will receive KRW 5 billion to reinvigorate the market. Moreover, the Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to come up with a customized renewal development plan for the Jungnim-dong, Hoehyeon-dong, and Cheongpa-dong areas, and will work together with local residents while moving ahead with the plan.


Seoul to Step Up Disinfection of Subway Facilities to Prevent the Spread of MERS

In order to prevent the spread of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), the Seoul Metropolitan Government will dramatically expand the measures currently in place to disinfect facilities inside subway stations and subway cars.

First, the government will ensure that facilities inside subway stations, train cars, and restrooms with which passengers make direct contact are cleaned and disinfected more frequently. Specifically, subway train cars will be disinfected twice a week instead of once, and facilities such as chairs, handles, and escalator handrails, with which passengers make direct contact, will be disinfected on a daily basis.

The interiors and restrooms of subway stations will be cleaned several times every day and disinfected twice a week rather than once. The sterilization of subway ticket machines, which has been done only once a month, will now be carried out every day as well.

As personal hygiene and sanitation are critical to preventing the spread of disease, hand-sanitizing stations will be installed in the over 300 stations that handle the largest volumes of passenger traffic. Also, the government will regularly inspect subway station restrooms to ensure that they are equipped with soap at all times.

Furthermore, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will promote measures that citizens can take to avoid contracting MERS. Video clips showing such measures as well as the symptoms of MERS and other related information will be featured on displays inside subway cars and stations 30 to 40 times a day. Information on the hygiene etiquette of coughing in public will also be broadcast.

June Events in Seoul to Be Cancelled

Cultural and sports events in Seoul will be cancelled or postponed as part of the city’s effort to prevent the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The Hangang Recharge Concert, which was planned to be held every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday in Yeouido this June, as well as the Hangang Relay Street Concert, scheduled for every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, will be postponed. In addition, the culture and art street performances that were slated to be held at the open stage of Seoul Children’s Grand Park, Deoksugung Palace, Daehanmun Gate, Naksan Park, and various other venues will be also be cancelled.

  • 공연중단

Moreover, all events scheduled for June will be cancelled or postponed until further notice, including performances, lectures, symposiums, sports games, concerts of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Seoul Grand Park Rose Festival, which were planned to be held at various locations throughout the city, such as Seoul Citizens Hall, Seoul Metropolitan Library, Seoul Museum of History, Seoul Baekje Museum, Cheonggyecheon Culture Center, Namsangol Hanok Village, Seoul Museum of Art, and Buk Seoul Museum of Art.

However, rather than being cancelled, traditional culture events such as the Namsan Bongsudae (beacon tower) Lighting Ritual and the Changing of the Royal Guard Ceremony at palaces in Seoul will only be reduced in scale.

▶ Inquiries: Seoul’s 120 Dasan Call Center

All-out efforts to curb MERS

On May 20, the Seoul Metropolitan Government launched the Anti-MERS HQ and has taken diverse measures to prevent the spread of the infectious disease in the city.

On June 4, Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon said that the Seoul Metropolitan Government would share MERS-related information with the people on a real-time basis at a briefing session in an effort to curb MERS in cooperation with the people. He added that the Seoul Metropolitan Government would take a stronger step to protect people’s safety and lives by mobilizing all available administrative capabilities.

He said, “Effective immediately, I will serve as the head of the Anti-MERS HQ. I am sure that we can get over the situation by working together, however dreadful a disease it may be.”



He said, “Effective immediately, I will serve as the head of the Anti-MERS HQ. I am sure that we can get over the situation by working together, however dreadful a disease it may be.”

In cooperation with the central government, the Seoul Metropolitan Government intends to do everything it can to resolve the current crisis.

◆ Establishment of system for reporting people who have come in contact with a MERS patient; necessary increase in the number of employees at 120 Dasan Call Center

On June 7, the Seoul Metropolitan Government increased the number of employees at the 120 Dasan Call Center by 119 people in preparation for a sharp increase in incoming calls for consulting, emergency requests, and the transportation of patients after the disclosure of the names of the hospitals associated with MERS. The Seoul Metropolitan Government is also considering operating a return call center in addition to the MERS-related Call Center. The 119 Situation Office has started working on an emergency basis.

《Seoul Metropolitan Government system for handling MERS-related reports》


◆ Round-the-clock operation of a team dedicated to the transportation of people exhibiting MERS symptoms

The Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Headquarters operates a team that handles the transportation of people exhibiting MERS symptoms, with each fire department operating a situation room. When it is judged that a person calling the Seoul Metropolitan Government requires more accurate, thorough testing, the team will send an ambulance for transportation to a hospital. To provide this service, a team composed of 20 to 30 public health center employees and 140 ambulances has been assembled. If required, the mobilization of 116 additional fire trucks will be considered.

◆ The Seoul Metropolitan Government Research Institute of Public Health and Environment (for MERS-related diagnosis) and 38 rooms at Seoul Metropolitan Government-operated municipal hospitals (for treatment in an isolated facility) have been prepared.

On June 7, the responsibility for MERS-related testing was transferred from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to a local public health and environment research institute. The Seoul Metropolitan Government will send all of the necessary reagents and precautions for carrying out MERS testing to the institute. The Seoul Metropolitan Government Research Institute of Public Health and Environment (RIPHE) is responsible for making the final decisions on all cases in addition to carrying out both screening and confirmation tests. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has installed more personnel and facilities for testing at the said institute, thus doubling the testing capacity to 70 cases a day.

The RIPHE has tested a total of 138 cases, with 128 cases testing positive, two cases testing negative, and the remaining eight cases are currently underway. As of 8 p.m. on June 7, the number of people monitored by the Seoul Metropolitan Government has now reached 1,552, including those who were home quarantined (1,337 people), those made to stay at relevant facilities (6 people), and those who have made simple contact with other patients (169).

◆ Provision of anti-MERS supplies to public institutions and facilities

At considerable cost, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will provide anti-MERS supplies (e.g. hand sanitizer and cold weather masks) to public institutions and facilities, markets, large-sized supermarkets, department stores, cinemas, facilities for large-scale events, senior citizen centers, and daycare centers.

◆ Anti-MERS measures taken for public transportation and cultural/sports events

The Seoul Metropolitan Government is taking steps toward disinfecting 307 subway stations, 13,130 buses, 70,000 taxis, and the five intra-city bus terminals. In particular, the low-hanging hand straps of subway cars and buses, public toilets, and safety handrails in public facilities will be treated with disinfectant at least once a day.

All cultural events hosted or sponsored by the Seoul Metropolitan Government will be postponed until the current situation has calmed down. Concerning private events scheduled to be held in Seoul Metropolitan Government-operated facilities, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will accept their cancellation without penalty.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government will also install a special treatment center near the main building of the Seoul Medical Center. The Seoul Metropolitan Government is planning to take all of these steps in cooperation with the central government, the 25 autonomous district offices in Seoul, and experts in the public sector.

On June 6, Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon met with representatives of the Seoul Medical Association and asked for their cooperation in the epidemiological survey being carried out by the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

Commenting on the current MERS situation, an Seoul Metropolitan Government official said, “We will make all possible efforts, while putting the lives and safety of the people first. We would also like people to recognize and believe in what we are doing to prevent the spread of MERS and cooperate with us.”


▶ Hotline for MERS-related consulting : Dasan Call Center (120) or Ministry of Health and Welfare (043-719-7777)

How Many Foreigners are Living in Seoul Now?



◈ Total of 270,000 foreigners registered in Seoul as of 2015, increasing 5.4 times within the past 15 years

The number of foreigners living in Seoul who have registered with the Ministry of Justice stands at 268,000, as of 2015 (Q1), which is 5.4 times more than the 50,000 foreigners at the end of 2000. As of 2014, the total number of foreigners, including naturalized Korean citizens, is 415,000, according to the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs.

Chinese and ethnic Koreans from China account for 72.3 percent of all foreigners, followed by Americans at 3.5 percent, Taiwanese at 3.3 percent, and Japanese at 3.1 percent.




◈ Proportion of Chinese steadily increasing, while Korean Chinese and foreigners from OECD countries are decreasing

The proportion of Korean Chinese (such as ethnic Koreans) has decreased by 6.5 percentage points, dropping from 60.1 percent in 2006 to 53.6 percent in 2015. On the other hand, the proportion of Chinese (including Han Chinese) has increased by 10.6 percentage points, rising from 8.1 percent in 2006 to 18.7 percent in 2015.

The number of foreign nationals from OECD countries (22 out of 34 countries) was recorded at 29,000, accounting for 10.7 percent of all foreigners and showing a drop of 9.0 percentage points from 19.7 percent in 2004.



◈ The proportion of Chinese nationals (including ethnic Koreans) is highest in Yeongdeungpo-gu, while most Japanese and Americans are situated in Yongsan-gu and Taiwanese in Seodaemun-gu.

As for the number of foreign residents by district, the proportion of Chinese (including ethnic Koreans) is the highest in Yeongdeungpo-gu, while most Americans and Japanese are in Yongsan-gu, and Taiwanese in Seodaemun-gu.

By neighborhood, most Korean Chinese reside in Daerim 2-dong and Guro 2-dong; Chinese in Hwayang-dong and Hyehwa-dong; Americans in Hangangno-dong and Yongsan 2ga-dong; Taiwanese in Yeonhui-dong and Yeonnam-dong; and Japanese in Ichon 1-dong and Hangangno-dong.


▶ View Seoul Statistics Page:

“Seoul Arboretum” by Winy Maas Selected as Winning Design for Seoul Station 7017 Project

Winy Maas is the founder and chief architect of MVRDV, a global architecture and urban planning company known for projects such as the Netherlands Pavilion at the 2000 Hanover Expo and Grand Paris Plus Petit, which depicts the company’s vision of Paris in 2030.

Built 45 years ago, the Seoul Station Overpass has served Seoul citizens for almost half a century. However, due to its deteriorating condition, the Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to renew it, announcing the “Seoul Station 7017 Project” on January 29, 2015. “7017” is a term that incorporates several numerical characteristics of the overpass from three different perspectives: ① its construction in 1970 and expected rebirth in 2017; ② its service as a road for vehicular traffic from 1970 and eventual conversion to 17 pedestrian paths; and ③ its construction in 1970 as a 17-meter-high overpass.


▶ Seoul Station Overpass designed in the shape of a massive tree with lines of street lamps depicting its branches, naturally linking the 17 pedestrian paths

The prize-winning work depicts the Seoul Station Overpass as a massive tree in the skygarden, creating a library-like collection of local plants arranged according to their names in the Korean alphabet, from Toegye-ro to Jungnim-dong. Street lamps will line the overpass like tree branches, organically linking the 17 pedestrian pathways that the Seoul Metropolitan Government requested be built.

The futuristic and innovative characteristics of the prize-winning design received high praise, as its vision and strategy focuses on turning a concrete structure into a place of vitality and life, using nature as a medium. Moreover, the judges widely supported the design as it permits the extension of the green areas around Seoul Station and places great importance on the collaborative process of the renewal project, allowing various citizens and agents to be actively involved.

Considering the poor condition of the deteriorating overpass and the characteristics of the surrounding areas, the Seoul Metropolitan Government organized this international competition and invited seven architects and landscapers, from Korea and abroad, whose expertise lie in integrating architecture, landscaping, and structure, as well as the restoration of modern industrial heritage. The evaluation criteria focused on: ① the discovery and interpretation of the space; ② linkages with the surrounding areas; ③ preservation and restructuring of the overpass; and ④ related programs.

Second prize went to the design “Seoul-Yeok-Goga: Walkway for All” by Jo Seong-ryong, while third prize went to Jo Min-seok for his design “Continuous Landmark: Unified Hyper-Collage City.” Among the other competitors, Juan Herreros (Spain) submitted “Seoul Evergreen Terrace,” and Martin Rein-Cano (Germany) submitted “Skyway.” In addition, Chang Yung Ho (China) and Jin Yang-gyo (Korea) also participated in the competition.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government will outline the details of the prize-winning design through briefing sessions for local residents and meetings with experts in related fields. It also plans to negotiate details with Winy Maas regarding the scope of the design and sign a contract by the end of June 2015.


▶ Showcased at the lobby of City Hall from May 8 to June 1, design to be specified at a later date through briefing sessions for residents

The Seoul Metropolitan Government will showcase all seven designs for the Seoul Station Overpass, including the prize-winning work, at the lobby of City Hall from May 18 to June 1.

In addition, the designs will be exhibited at Gangnam Station, Seoul Station, Hongik University Station, and Gwanghwamun Square between May 20 and 27, as well as at Yongsan-gu Office and Mapo-gu Office between May 28 and June 17.

The designs will also be posted on the official website of the Seoul Metropolitan Government ( and the competition website ( The Seoul Metropolitan Government is planning to publish a booklet of all seven designs and distribute them to related interest groups, including the Seoul Metropolitan Council, Citizens’ Committee, community centers in 3 districts (Cheongpa-dong, Gongdeok-dong, Jungnim-dong, and Hoehyeon-dong), and the Namdaemun Merchants Association.


《Biography of Winy Maas》


Winy Maas, MVRDV, the Netherlands

  • 2004Received Amsterdam Art Prize
  • 2003Received Mies van der Rohe Award
  • 2002Received 2002 NAI Prize
  • 2000Received Fritz Schumacher Prize
  • 1991Majored in Urban Design and Architecture at Delft University of Technology
  • 1984Majored in Landscape Architecture at the RHSTL Boskoop

▶Major Works

Market Hall in Rotterdam (2014), Presq’ilede Caen Redevelopment (2013), Glass Farm (2013), Hongqiao Airport Central Business District (2013), Maquinnext (2012), Book Mountain (2012), Grand Paris (2010), Ypenburg (2005), Silodam (2003), BjørvikaBarcode (2003), Villa VPRO (1997), WoZoCo Housing (1997)

BjørvikaBarcode (2003)Maquinnext(2012)Market Hall in Rotterdam (2014)


《Images of the Prize-Winning Work》

Winy Maas (Netherlands): Seoul Arboretum



《View Other Works》

Juan Herreros, SpainMartin Rein-Cano, Germany
Jin Yang-gyoChang Yung Ho, China
Jo Seong-ryongJo Min-seok