“Paris City Hall Declaration: A Decisive Contribution to COP 21” jointly adopted under the honorary chairmanship of Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon


Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon attended the World Mayors Summit on Climate Change held in Paris at 5:35 p.m. (local time) on December 4 in the capacity of Chair of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and led the development of the “Paris City Hall Declaration: A Decisive Contribution to COP 21,” which was jointly adopted by mayors and governors from around the world in order to renew their commitment to achieving substantial reductions in greenhouse gases.

The summit was held in Paris City Hall with over 800 people in attendance, including notable figures such as Mayor Park Won Soon, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and Mr. Michael Bloomberg, who served as the UN General Secretary’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, as well as representatives of three urban networks (i.e. ICLEI, C40, and UCLG), mayors, local government officials, representatives of NGOs, and private sector experts.

The declaration points out that it is the joint responsibility of all people of the world to find solutions to climate change and that the matter is an issue of rights, equality, development, and social justice. Also, it includes detailed strategies to increase the resilience of cities and their capability to adapt to the increase in climate-related disasters by 2020 and an action plan for the provision of support to local communities for their complete conversion to new and renewable energy by 2050.

Mayor Park took part as a panelist in the panel discussion held as part of the opening session at 9:00 a.m. on December 4 under the theme “City Solutions.” The mayors of Rio de Janeiro, Dakar, and Istanbul also attended the discussion.

In his presentation, Mayor Park said, “The Earth has already become a huge network of cities. Therefore, local governments should take small, yet meaningful steps beyond borders to cope with climate change in creative ways and with a strong sense of responsibility. All of us should ‘think globally, act locally.’ The climate change crisis must be addressed through the cooperation of all cities the world over. As the chair city of the ICLEI, Seoul will lead the effort to achieve substantial greenhouse gases reductions.”

Total of 1.9 Million People Have Used Seoul’s Car Sharing Service “Nanum Car” Over Last Three Years


As of October 2015, the number of users of Seoul’s “Nanum Car” service, which began operations in 2013, recorded 1.951 million. At the current rate of growth, the number of users will surpass 2 million by February 2016.

On a daily average, Nanum Car users have increased about eleven times, from 349 to 4,011. On average, Nanum Car users make use of the service for about 3 hours and 23 minutes each time, mainly for the short-term use of a car depending on their needs. By age group, users in their 20s and 30s accounted for about 83.7 percent of all users, as the sharing economy is being driven mainly by the younger generations.

A study of the Nanum Car service’s performance last year revealed that the service effectively: managed the demand for transportation while reducing the necessity of vehicle ownership by about 8.5 vehicles per Nanum Car, reduced household expenditure by about KRW 28.9 billion per year by offering an alternative to car ownership, and reduced air pollution by cutting greenhouse gas emissions by vehicles by about 486 tons per year.

Since the Nanum Car service entered operation in 2013, Seoul Metropolitan Government has been making consistent improvements to the service and system, such as creating user-centered services, strengthening safety measures, and enhancing the public image of the service.

Currently, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is planning to implement the second Nanum Car Project over the next three years, improving upon the achievements and experiences of the first project. Specifically, the second project will be a service model intended to innovatively manage the demand for transportation by expanding the service to include life zones and businesses and lead the transformation of car ownership culture. Furthermore, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will implement enhanced services that focus on the convenience and safety of users by strengthening the point of contact for Seoul citizens, among other means.

Seoul Guarantees Rights of All Subway Passengers with Disabilities


In celebration of the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which fell on December 3, Seoul Metropolitan Government announced its “Detailed Action Plan to Ensure the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” which includes 30 specific projects. The city government remarked that it will create a public transportation environment where persons with reduced mobility can move about without assistance.

As part of the action plan, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will install elevators in subway stations in order to allow persons with reduced mobility and wheelchair users to move from the entrance of subway stations to subway platforms easily and without assistance. By 2022, 307 subway stations in Seoul will be equipped with such elevators.

Of particular note, this plan has been established through a combination of public and private governance, consisting of experts and people with various physical disabilities, and by holding dozens of discussions on the issues that people with disabilities face. On the same day, the Seoul Metropolitan Government also announced the “Seoul Declaration on the Improvement of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

The “Detailed Action Plan to Ensure the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” specifically mentions improvements in various areas, such as public transportation, public facilities, and pedestrian environments, intended to help persons with physical disabilities move about safely and conveniently. The plan consists of 30 specific tasks in four different categories, including ① the subway system, ② buses, ③ special means of transportation, and ④ sidewalks.

Seoul City Prepares Korea’s First “Guidelines on Eco-Friendly Ingredients for School Meals”


Seoul Metropolitan Government has established guidelines, the first of their kind in Korea, which must be followed by all agricultural produce, poultry, seafood, and processed food suppliers that sell their products to schools for the preparation of students’ meals.
The guidelines systematically stipulate the criteria for the manufacturing, management, quality control, and delivery of the food products, as well as their size and weight. Only products that meet these strict criteria may be used in the preparation of school meals.

In particular, the city government has strengthened the safety standards for food products that are known to be at high risk of radioactive contamination. According to the new standards, if the radiation level exceeds even one-twentieth of the national limit, the products are not permitted to be sold to schools. In addition, the city has expanded its support for school meal expenses for high school students from low-income families in order to prevent students in need from falling through the cracks of the welfare system.

On top of all of these measures, Seoul Metropolitan Government is planning to expand its nutrition and healthy-eating education program in order to raise awareness among citizens regarding the quality and ingredients of the foods and food products they eat and encourage them to reflect on their eating habits.

Seoul Announces Transportation Measures in Anticipation of the Closing of Seoul Station Overpass


Seoul Metropolitan Government has recently announced a set of transportation measures designed to minimize any traffic congestion and inconveniences for citizens that may be caused by the closing of the Seoul Station Overpass, which is expected to take place at midnight on December 13, 2015.

To mitigate any inconveniences, the city government will expand public transportation and improve the transit system in the area. Moreover, it will make all possible efforts to ease traffic congestion, such as informing citizens of detours via mobile GPS applications.

Seoul Metropolitan Government has promised to keep close track of the transportation situation and take steps to keep traffic flowing as smoothly as possible, from onsite surveys and management of roads surrounding the Seoul Station Overpass to identifying and informing citizens of detours and directly maintaining traffic order.

Five key points of the transportation measures announced by Seoul Metropolitan Government today include: ① improving the vehicle transit system in the area surrounding the overpass, ② expanding public transportation, ③ identifying optimal detours for each area near the overpass, and ⑤ providing such information to citizens in advance in order to prevent inconveniences.

More specific efforts will be made to assist the residents, merchants, and business owners in the Seoul Station area. In particular, the city government will request that business employees refrain from driving their own cars to work and distribute notices to local residents asking for their cooperation regarding the closing of the Seoul Station Overpass and informing them of detours.

A Guide to “I · SEOUL · U” the New Seoul Brand

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced the final version of the new official Seoul Brand,   아이서울유_최종. The final brand is the design selected by Seoul citizens but features minor refinements made by experts.

The Seoul government released an online version of the official “Seoul Brand Guide,” which provides information and guidance on how people may freely use the new Seoul Brand,   아이서울유_최종, as long as the meaning and identity of the brand is maintained. In other words, the new brand is available as a third-generation open-platform design, meaning any citizen or for-profit or non-profit company may use the brand.

The Seoul Brand Guide is free to download from the Seoul Brand website (http://seoulbrand.go.kr), and Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to release an English version of the guide for use in cities around the world.

After extensively considering various citizen opinions expressed following the selection of the brand and holding discussions among the Seoul Brand Promotion Committee, which is composed of citizens and experts, as well as with experts in the branding and design industries, the placement of the dots was changed so that the final design of   아이서울유_최종    would stress that the I and U are “connected through Seoul.”


Official Version of Seoul Brand


On October 28 at the Meeting of 1,000 Citizens,   아이서울유_최종   was selected to replace    , which had been the Seoul Brand for 13 years. The new brand will take its place as the official Seoul Brand in the first half of next year, after the necessary amendment is made to the “Ordinance of Seoul Metropolitan’s Symbol.”


Examples of Possible Uses of Seoul Brand

서울브랜드 활용예시

Seoul seeks to recruit foreign students to participate in global internship program


Until December 2, Seoul Metropolitan Government will be accepting applications from foreign students studying in Korea to participate in the 17th Seoul Global Internship program, for which a total of 30 students will be selected.

Launched in 2008, the Seoul Global Internship program is the first of its kind conducted by a Korean government agency. It offers foreign students the opportunity to participate in city affairs during the summer and winter school vacations, and has become a tremendously popular internship program, featuring fierce competition among applicants. So far, a total of 472 foreign students in Korea from 68 countries have successfully completed their internships during the 16 times that this program has been conducted.

The duration of the upcoming 17th internship is seven weeks (January 4 ~ February 23, 2016), and applicants must be foreign students currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a university in Seoul. Only those whose visas in Korea are valid until at least February 23, 2016, may apply.

Selected applicants will be announced on December 24 (Thu) after two rounds of screening (application and interview). Further inquiries about the application process may be directed to the Multiculturalism Division (02-2133-5076).

The selected interns will be dispatched to individual departments at Seoul City Hall, affiliated offices, and corporations, where they will be assigned to a wide range of tasks. In addition to their regular internship responsibilities, global interns will participate in community service activities (e.g. assisting at welfare facilities for the mentally disabled) and field trips to major policy organizations in Seoul.

17th Seoul Global Internship: Application Guidelines

Internship Outline

❍ Duration of internship: January 4 (Mon) ~ February 23 (Tue), 2016 (total of 7 weeks)
❍ Number of interns to be selected: 30
❍ Qualifications

  • – Foreign students currently enrolled at a university or graduate school in Seoul
  • – Those who can legally remain in Korea until February 23, 2016

❍ Working hours: 5 days a week (Mon~Fri), 6 hours a day (09:00~16:00)
❍ Per diem (to cover meal and transportation costs): KRW 37,200
❍ Schedule: Orientation (Jan. 4), field trip to City Hall (Jan. 15), community service (Jan. 29), certificate awarding ceremony (Feb. 23)
※ Schedule may be subject to change.

Application procedure and how to apply

❍ Application period: November 23 (Mon) ~ December 2 (Wed), 18:00, 2015
※ Only submissions that arrive by the above deadline will be accepted.
❍ Required documents (1 copy each): Application Form 1, Application Form 2, proof of enrollment, academic transcript, TOPIK score (optional)
❍ Submission format: Files in HWP, DOC, XLS, and/or JPG format via email
❍ Where to submit: global_intern@seoul.go.kr

Selection procedure

❍ Round 1: Application screening

  • – Selection standards: comprehensive evaluation of various factors, including TOPIK score, specific requirements of the department in question (e.g. major, language proficiency), nationality ratio, etc.
  • – Number of selected applicants: three times the number of applicants to be admitted
  • – Notification of Round 1 results: December 10 (Thu), 2015, 18:00 (applicants will be informed on an individual basis via email and text message)

❍ Round 2: Interview screening

  • – Interview period: December 14 (Mon) ~ 18 (Fri), 2015
  • – Screening method: individual interviews (will be conducted in person at the recruiting department)

❍ Announcement of final results: December 24 (Thu), 2015, 18:00 (tentative)

※ Selected applicants will be informed individually of their selection via text message and email. Departments that do not receive applications from any suitably qualified candidates may forego selecting an intern. Further inquiries may be directed to the Multiculturalism Division (02-2133-5076).

Application Form

Seoul Announces “Comprehensive Pandemic Response Plan”


Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced the “Comprehensive Pandemic Response Plan,” which lists 20 tasks in five categories aimed at achieving comprehensive improvements in the city’s public health and medical infrastructure and services and addressing the limitations of the city’s ability to respond to outbreaks of contagious diseases, which came to light during the city’s efforts to contain the MERS crisis.

By 2018, the city government will increase the number of negative pressure isolation rooms to a total of 194 rooms at six municipal hospitals, a five-fold increase over the current number. To resolve issues such as the overcrowding of emergency rooms and cross-contamination among patients, which played a major role in the spread of MERS, Seoul Metropolitan Government will install negative pressure isolation rooms in the emergency wards of four municipal hospitals, including Seoul Metropolitan Dongbu Hospital and Seonam Hospital, by 2017.

In addition, the new Hospital Entry and Exit Management System and Special Visiting Rooms will be installed in seven hospitals by 2017 to reduce the instances of hospital visitors contracting diseases through contact with confirmed patients.

On November 19, 2015, Seoul Metropolitan Government released the “White Paper of Seoul Metropolitan Government MERS Preventive Measures,” which includes a detailed daily account of the major events and preventive measures implemented during the MERS outbreak.

Ten Spots Offering the Best Night Views of Seoul


Through citizen suggestions, polls, and expert evaluations, Seoul Metropolitan Government has selected 10 places, including Gwanghwamun Square, Naksan Park, and Namsan (Mountain), as locations offering the most beautiful night views in Seoul.

Over a one-month period, Seoul Metropolitan Government received citizen suggestions and various opinions of Korean and foreign tourists regarding the spots with the best night views of Seoul.

The criteria for selecting the locations were: the beauty of the scenery, possession of value symbolic of Seoul, and accessibility. The related tour courses developed based on the suggestions include places that would be the most fun to visit in consideration of the quality of the night views they offer, places to eat nearby, other things to enjoy, time required to walk the course, convenience, and sustainability.

As a result, the ten spots with the best night views in Seoul are: Gwanghwamun Square, Naksan Park, Namsan (Mountain), Haneul Park, 63 Building (observatory), Bugaksan (Mountain), Banpo daegyo (Bridge), Maebongsan (Mountain), Seonyudo Park, and Seokchon Lake.


List of Spots Offering the Best Night Views of Seoul

No Location (Sights) Tour Course
1 Gwanghwamun Square (Gwanghwamun, Statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin) Gwanghwamun Square – Seoul Plaza – Sungnyemun – Seoul Station Plaza (National Symbolic Street)
2 Naksan Park (Seoul City Wall, downtown Seoul) Seoul Museum of History – Cheonggye Plaza – Cheonggyecheon (Supyo-gyo Bridge)
3 Namsan Mountain (N Seoul Tower, downtown Seoul) Daehak-ro – Naksan Park (Seoul City Wall)
4 Haneul Park (Hangang River, World Cup Stadium) Myeongdong Street – Myeongdong Cathedral
5 63 Building (Hangang River skyline) The Hill of Poet Yun Dong-ju (Inwangsan Mountain Observatory) – Changuimun Gate – Zaha Museum
6 Bukaksan Mountain (Gyeongbokgung Palace, downtown Seoul) Insa-dong – Samcheong-dong – Six Sights of Bukchon
7 Banpo-daegyo Bridge (Some Sevit (island), Rainbow Fountain) Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Fashion Town
8 Maebongsan Mountain Pavilion (Hangang River) Deoksugung Palace Stonewall Walkway – Jeongdong-gil
9 Seonyudo Park Rainbow Bridge (Yeouido skyline) Seochon – Suseong-dong Valley
10 Seokchon Lake (structures around the lake) Yeouido, Hangang River Cruise


1. Gwanghwamun Square


2. Naksan Park


3. Namsan Mountain


4. Haneul Park


5. 63 Building


6. Bukaksan Mountain


7. Banpo-daegyo Bridge


8. Maebongsan Mountain Pavilion


9. Seonyudo Park Rainbow Bridge


10. Seokchon Lake


Social Media City Seoul: Innovating communication culture to focus on mobile and SNS


Seoul Metropolitan Government is kicking off the “Social Media City Seoul” project, through which the city aims to connect all 10 million citizens of Seoul, including the general public, government officials, and experts, by innovating the city’s communication culture to place more emphasis on mobile and SNS technologies rather than home-based Internet. The main goal of this project is to fully utilize social media as an administrative tool for public communications, which is an unprecedented move among local governments in Korea. It also seeks to expand citizen participation in the city’s administration and strengthen public-private cooperation using social media.

From now, in the event of a disaster or safety-related emergency, for example, Seoul City will immediately disseminate messages using the “Seoul Official SNS,” signifying the official inclusion of such communication means in the existing initial response manual for natural disasters and emergency situations.

In addition, the official letterhead of Seoul City and employee business cards will also include the SNS account of the respective department. To this end, Seoul Metropolitan Government will prepare a social media guideline regarding basic principles on the use of SNS for public communication and conduct regular training sessions for all employees.

In addition, the city will support efforts to strengthen the competitiveness of small businesses and social enterprises using social media. To help small businesses and enterprises enhance their PR capabilities, Seoul Metropolitan Government will offer free training on “how to utilize mobile technology and social media for PR and communications.”

This project is part of Seoul’s blueprint for its mid- to long-term communications strategy, which extends until 2017 and includes a total of 10 specific tasks related to three major policy goals. These goals are: establish and strengthen a social media-centered administrative system, create a social cooperative network with citizens, and help citizens improve their quality of life through the use of social media.

Seoul to Create “Vibrant Livelihood Budget Plan” for 2016


Seoul Metropolitan Government recently released its 2016 budget plan, featuring spending of KRW 27.45 trillion. This budget plan has been given the name “Vibrant Livelihood Budget” and is expected to improve the livelihoods of Seoul citizens through welfare innovation, and non-capital intensive urban renewal.

Seoul’s 2016 budget plan is focused on three tasks: ① expanding the safety network for public health services and customized welfare, ② creating jobs and developing a Seoul-style creative economy, and ③ carrying out people-centered urban renewal, which involves making Seoul a more pedestrian-centered city.

First, the government allotted a total of KRW 54.2 billion for welfare to improve community service centers and install automatic civil complaint processing devices. Moreover, KRW 34.6 billion has been allotted for social contribution training, re-employment, and cultural and leisure activities for late middle-aged citizens, and KRW 165.4 billion will be invested in the construction of 300 more national and public daycare centers.

Second, in an effort to enhance Seoul’s competitiveness, Seoul Metropolitan Government will invest KRW 463.5 billion to establish a foundation for a Seoul-style creative economy, innovate traditional manufacturing, foster the R&D and MICE industries, and others. In addition, KRW 190.3 billion has been set aside to fund 64 projects for immediate implementation based on policies and suggestions made by citizens during Mayor Park Won Soon’s “Employment Trail,” in which the Mayor met with citizens, businesses, and universities at 99 different sites throughout the month of October in an effort to find solutions to the unemployment issue.

Third, the city government will focus on improving, preserving, and organizing the maintenance system for residential environments in Seoul for the next 100 years, as well as on creating a new economic center to enhance the competitiveness of Seoul in preparation for an era of slow growth. To this end, the government will invest KRW 434.3 billion in urban renewal, which is a 50 percent increase over that of last year’s budget.

“Practical local autonomy must be backed by financial support from the central government,” said Mayor Park Won Soon, adding, “I hope that the central government will acknowledge the local financial situation and make the decision to promptly honor its promise to provide financial support for regional governments so that true decentralization—supported by real autonomy and finance—can be realized in the future.”

Seoul Signs MOU for Friendship and Cooperation with Vientiane, Laos


Seoul Metropolitan Government has concluded an MOU for friendship and cooperation with Vientiane, the capital of Laos, to share the outstanding policies of both cities in terms of economy, transportation, environment, culture and tourism, and urban planning. On November 5, 2015, Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon and Mayor Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune of Vientiane signed the “Friendship and Cooperation Agreement between Seoul and Vientiane.”

With economic growth as high as seven to eight percent every year, Laos is a rapidly growing country and a member of ASEAN. Recently, Vientiane has been experiencing rapid growth as well, through continuous investment in a wide variety of sectors. However, the city is suffering from traffic congestion and water, sewage, and waste treatment issues. Therefore, this MOU is expected to allow Vientiane to address these issues through Seoul’s assistance, based on its knowhow and experience with rapid urban development.

Through this MOU for friendship and cooperation, the two cities will begin establishing a foundation for cooperation between their citizens particularly in the culture and tourism sector, and have promised to share policies related to the development of water and sewage systems, urban planning, e-government, and transportation, among others.

Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon said, “I am very glad to have established a foundation for cooperation between Seoul and Vientiane through the signing of this MOU.” He also remarked, “Seoul will assist Vientiane with its urban development through practical exchange, involving the sharing of Seoul’s policies, and we will work hard to develop a cooperative system for the sustainable development of our two cities.”