Seoul Mayor Park and Tokyo Governor Masuzoe Conclude Joint Declaration on Six Cooperative Areas, City Safety, Etc.

Park Won Soon, mayor of Seoul, and Yoichi Masuzoe, governor of Tokyo, promised to cooperate in jointly addressing the issues of metropolitan areas.

On February 3, Park and Masuzoe met at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and declared their intention to cooperate in six areas related to the livelihood of citizens and the urban economy – city safety, environment, welfare, sports & Olympics, tourism, and culture.

This was their second meeting following Masuzoe’s visit to Seoul last July. In fact, this joint declaration has resulted in the ‘Agreement on Exchange and Cooperation’ being concluded, which was signed in Seoul.

Such a partnership is significant in that the two cities will share each other’s experience and administrative policies in a more substantial manner, for instance, the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s focus on ‘safety.’ After signing an MOU on technological cooperation with regards to sinkholes with Tokyo, both Seoul and Tokyo declared their intention to cooperate and share information on flood control and the anti-shock and deterioration of subways, bridges, buildings, and other infrastructure. Both cities will partake in joint fire-fighting training programs. Park also suggested holding an annual ‘city safety forum’ on a regular basis.

In addition, in terms of the environment, measures to address global warming – technology exchanges and cooperation in the prevention of air pollution and the energy efficiency of architectural buildings – will be shared. In healthcare welfare, efficient actions to prevent low birth rate and strengthen the partnership regarding infectious diseases will be discussed further. In culture, exhibitions utilizing the collections of the Edo-Tokyo Museum and the Seoul Museum of History will be held, in addition to reciprocal exchanges of curators from the two museums.

Mayor Park said, “City safety and citizens’ issues do not show any boundaries nor ideology; therefore, this meeting is expected to open a new chapter for active exchanges between Seoul and Tokyo, which have long been stagnant. Also, I hope the two cities will create a wise synergy by cooperating closely on city safety, environment, tourism, and welfare, and for resolving urban problems.”

After signing a sisterhood agreement in 1988, Seoul and Tokyo had then cooperated closely. However, the relations became strained for nearly ten years under the leadership of Shintaro Ishihara, former Governor of Tokyo, from 1999 to 2012. However, Yoichi Masuzoe, who took office in February 2014, officially visited Seoul in July 2014 as a means to normalize the relations between Seoul and Tokyo.

Mayor Park held the ‘Seoul-Tokyo Friendship Exchange Meeting’ with fifteen Japanese officials, who will give a variety of advice filled with great affection toward Seoul. The Seoul Metropolitan Government now appoints foreigners interested in administrative policies, and with experience of living in Seoul, so as to have them act as a resourceful network for constructive feedback and advice. It is currently comprised of 95 members from seven cities, including Beijing, Manila, Berlin, New York, Sichuan, Shandong, and LA.




Seoul Mayor Park, a Special Lecture on ‘Communication and City Diplomacy’ at Waseda University

On February 3, Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon, who is currently touring Japan, gave a special lecture to some 300 students and citizens at Waseda University. Under the theme ‘Seoul’s New Communication-Based Administration and City Diplomacy,’ the lecture lasted fifty minutes along with a forty minute Q&A session.

During the lecture, Park stated that an aging society, low birth rate, youth unemployment, and city regeneration are pending issues with which both South Korea and Japan are grappling and should be overcome together; thus, if South Korea and Japan, with their many commonalities, cooperate and seek a consensus with an open mind, a whole new history and future will be guaranteed: the starting point of which will be city diplomacy.

Regarding the relations between South Korea and Japan, Park stressed the importance of reflecting on the past, facing the present, and stepping towards the future, and introduced the cases involving the actions taken by the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Union (EU), and the compensation and healing process for the victims of WWII led by a German foundation, Remembrance, Responsibility, and Future. He emphasized that it was essential that the two nations marched as one towards a brighter future, on the basis of sincere introspection, self-reflection, and reconciliation.

Furthermore, he suggested establishing a ‘New BeSeTo’ framework by forging consultative ties among Seoul, Tokyo, and Beijing, and claimed that such a consultative framework might lead to lasting peace and co-prosperity in East Asia, as well as tackling issues unsolved by the government from a city level.

Park also shared his past experience as a human rights lawyer and a civic activist, as well as his current initiatives based on communication, such as communication-based administration and citizen engagement.

Prior to the lecture, Park met with Korean faculty members and students in Waseda University and discussed ways to exchange academic knowledge between Waseda University and the University of Seoul, with Kaoru Kamata, President of Waseda University.




“Climate Change Project Export Counseling” Session

The Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) will hold the “Climate Change Project Export Counseling” session, on April 8~12, at the ICLEI World Congress 2015, for foreign city officials visiting Seoul and domestic companies with eco-friendly and green technologies. Participating companies will be selected based on the marketability and competitiveness of their corporations located in Seoul, through document screening, quantity of orders, and preference of buyers.

Those companies interested in participating in the counseling session can apply at www.buykorea.org, on February 2~27.

The counseling session will lay the groundwork for the penetration of foreign markets along with the eco-friendly and green industry, which has been gaining attention as an emerging industry, with the holding of the ICLEI World Congress 2015.

The counseling will cover energy efficiency, disposal of waste, and air pollution control to water control, and participating companies will be given some benefits, including interpretation support, consultations with orders, and 1:1 counseling sessions with buyers.

In particular, by inviting 100 global buyers of high purchasing power, in addition to buyers from China, which show high demand for energy control technology, and mediating meetings with small- and mid-sized environmental service providers in Seoul, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will actively support Korea’s eco-friendly small- and mid-sized companies in their bids to seize opportunities to enter the global market.

Also, on the date of the counseling session, the “Climate Change Forum” (organized by KOTRA) will be held. Foreign orders will lead the briefing session, and the global environmental market trends and the overseas penetration strategy of Korean companies will be made public while transferring the know-how required for mid-sized companies to explore overseas markets.




“Hangang River Street Performance Artists 2015”

On February 2~27, seventy teams will be recruited to participate in the “Hangang River Street Performance Artists 2015.” The selected teams will perform from April 1 to July 31, and the best performers will be granted a period extension.

Any individuals or teams willing to donate their talents, and bring joy to Seoul citizens in Hangang Park, can apply, and all genres – singing, magic, instrumental performances, dance performances, etc. – are possible. Teams (and individuals) who can perform more than three times a month in Hangang Park are more than welcome.

Those who are selected to be performance artists will be given a street performance artist certificate, an incentive to be the best performer of the month, an opportunity to take part in the street performance festival held in July and August, a certificate to establish their volunteer activity, and activity fees (four hours per day, KRW 8,000 per person).

With the street performance artist certificate, performers can perform wherever and whenever in Hangang Park, with the support of eleven Hangang Park information centers. The Hangang Park parking lot (one car per team) can be used and promotional activities for performances will be supported.

‣For more information and to apply contact:editorso@seoul.go.kr, 3780-0799.




Adoption of Tokyo’s Advanced Know-How in Sinkhole Response Technology

Mayor of Seoul Park Won Soon made a point to visit a site in front of the University of Tokyo, which had been restored after a sinkhole had opened up in 2014. This was the first item on his agenda on the first day of his visit to Japan, which started on February 2, 2015. He was then briefed on the technology to respond to sinkholes by personnel from the Bureau of Construction of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, with which he later signed an ‘Administrative Agreement on Technological Exchange for Responding to Sinkholes’.

By signing this agreement, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is planning to capitalize on the opportunity to adopt Japan’s technologically advanced capacity for preventing sinkholes, a capacity some 20 years more advanced than Korea’s. Based on practical and active exchanges, the plans are to transform Seoul’s policy. Instead of being reactive to sinkholes once they have formed, the focus will be on proactive, preventive action, thereby enhancing the safety of citizens.

Through the agreement, the two city governments have agreed to build a strategic partnership for their citizens’ safety. The Seoul Metropolitan Government will receive, from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the methods of identifying the causes and conducting investigations on the break out of holes under road surfaces, how to draft a sinkhole manual, and the response and restoration measures to be taken upon the discovery of holes or outbreaks of sinkholes. In exchange, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will receive an IT-based pot hole report system, which the Seoul Metropolitan Government is currently developing, among others.

Moreover, they will engage in mutual staff exchanges for practical and technological exchanges. This agreement was initiated by the “Agreement on Exchange and Cooperation between the Seoul Metropolitan City and Tokyo Metropolitan City ” signed on July 23, 2014, which was followed by a working-level visit to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (September 26, 2014), and an agreement to unconditionally exchange advanced technology against sinkholes. In this regard, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government expressed its intent to cooperate, with regards to sinkhole prevention technology, with the Seoul Metropolitan Government in the “Basic Strategy for City Diplomacy” signed on December 25, 2015.

※ Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Taxi Pothole Report System

  • Real-time reporting
    by taxi drivers
  • Reporting system monitor
  • Emergency
    Reconstruction Team
    restores damage

<Adoption of Japan’s technological know-how in ‘Bridge management monitoring systems’>

Meanwhile, Mayor Park visited Tokyo Gate Bridge and studied a bridge monitoring system (BRIMOS) developed and adopted by Japan. Tokyo Gate Bridge was built over an arterial highway some 2,618 meters long and 21 meters wide and connects to Haneda Airport. The bridge cost around ¥ 112.5 billion (approximately KRW 1 trillion) and was competed in 2012. Its unique structure earned it the nickname, “Dinosaur Bridge.”

BRIMOS collects real-time data on displacement, acceleration and strain, and manages the condition of the bridge in real-time. Currently, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has a similar online monitoring system for ten bridges that cross the River Han, but it plans to adopt more advanced technology, including the “large vehicle weight monitoring system” to undergo pilot tests in Seoul so as to prevent damage to bridges due to overloaded vehicles.

The Bridge Safety Department , newly installed for greater professional and systematic bridge management, in January 2015, will lead the efforts of the Seoul Metropolitan Government to actively adopt lessons from Japan’s rich experiences and to incorporate them into domestic policies on bridge repair and maintenance.

After visiting the site, Mayor Park remarked, “There is no greater lesson in city safety than advanced experience.” He went on, “About 40 percent of the bridges in Seoul is more than 30 years old, and therefore, we will devote our best efforts to the prevention of accidents through active technological exchange with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which has rich experience and sophisticated technology for the repair and maintenance of old bridges.”




Seoul Mayor Park, “Government Subsidies Urgently Needed to Renovate Antiquated Drainpipes, a Root Cause of Sinkholes”

On February 2, Park Won Soon, mayor of Seoul, visited a site replete with sinkholes in Tokyo, Japan. He said, “The financial self-reliance of Tokyo is similar to that of Seoul at around 80%, but Tokyo has been receiving approximately KRW 500 billion — 9.5% of its total budget — of financial support from the government since 2008, making it possible to renovate the entirety of the city’s antiquated sewer system, a root cause of sinkholes. Therefore, as Seoul City can not handle this issue without the government’s assistance, the Korean Government’s expansion of the scope of its subsidies is urgently required.”

As the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) needs a total of KRW 4.05 trillion to renovate the deteriorated drainpipes, stretching about 3,700km, in areas with sinkholes, it is impossible to improve the sewer system within a short time; thus, the SMG is slated to first replace some 932km of drainpipes more than fifty years old. However, the SMG still needs financial assistance in the region of KRW 256 billion.

The budget necessary in 2015 is about KRW 230 billion, so the SMG asked for KRW 100 billion from the government, excluding Seoul City’s budget of KRW 130 billion, but only KRW 10 billion was allocated for renovations. In 2015, KRW 15 billion was earmarked, but KRW 5 billion was set aside for research on sewer systems; therefore, the budget for the renovation was merely KRW 10 billion.

As an attempt to come up with preventive measures, the SMG is planning to renovate antiquated drainpipes, purchase state-of-the-art exploration devices for underground exploratory activities, and use private exploration services (500km annually, 1,500km every three years).

<Tokyo’s large-scale renovation of its outdated drainpipes and exploration activities using cutting-edge devices…less than 1% possibility of sinkholes leading to accidents>

In the case of Tokyo, due to poorer geological conditions than Seoul, the effects of earthquakes, and deteriorated drainpipes, roughly 1,000 sinkholes used to be reported every year. However, the possibility of sinkholes leading to accidents is less than 1% now thanks to preventive measures, such as large-scale renovation of outdated drainpipes and exploration activities using state-of-the-art exploration devices.

About ten years ago, Tokyo analyzed the mechanism of sinkhole development and identified a considerable increase in the occurrence of submerged sinkholes resulting from drainpipes that were more than thirty years old. Tokyo City has since then been actively renovating its outdated sewer system to avoid the reality of the ‘fourteen times increase in sinkholes within fifty years’ prediction should renovations not be conducted properly.

After extensively renovating the antiquated drainpipes, the percentage of sinkholes occurring has dropped drastically from 48% in 1999 to 28% in 2009. The total budgetary amount allocated for the management of Tokyo’s sewer system is KRW 6.95 trillion in total, ten times higher than Seoul at KRW 691 billion.

<Seoul, half the antiquated drainpipes more than 30 years old are located in areas prone to sinkholes; thus, they require immediate renovation>

On the contrary, in Seoul, the total length of drainpipes is 10,392km (as of December 2013), and among them, drainpipes older than 30 years account for about 48.3% or 5,000km. In particular, 3,700km of outdated drainpipes are located in alluvial layer-areas that are prone to sinkhole formation; thus, these pipes must be immediately renovated. According to last year’s research on submerged sinkholes in Seoul, the number of yearly cases involving either large or small sinkholes is around 681 (as of July 2014), and among them, sinkholes occurring due to Seoul’s antiquated sewer system take up about 85%.

(Based on the sewer system statistics in December 31, 2013)

Total
Length
Less than 10 years 10 years ~20 years20 years ~30 yearsMore than
30 years
10,392㎞1,316.8㎞
(12.7%)
1,454.7㎞
(14.0%)
2,597.5㎞
(25.0%)
5,023.3㎞
(48.3%)

Mayor Park said, “As Seoul City has acquired cutting-edge exploration technology by signing an MOU on support for countering sinkholes with Tokyo, and if the renovation of outdated drainpipes is carried out as planned, the damage caused by sinkholes will be minimized as soon as possible.” He also stressed, “As the damage stemming from sinkholes is tantamount to that of a disaster, active support from the government in consideration of the local autonomy’s budget deficit is desperately needed.”




Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon Visits Japan for “Practice-Oriented Diplomacy” on Urban Safety and Economy

Park Won Soon, mayor of Seoul, visited two cities in Japan – Tokyo and Hokkaido – for six days, from February 1 to 6, 2015.

As his first overseas trip this year, it will become a practice-oriented diplomacy mission focused on areas relevant to the livelihood of the public and the urban economy, such as safety, tourism, and urban regeneration. This trip is significant in that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of relations between Korea and Japan, and both Seoul and Tokyo will strengthen their citizen-centric urban diplomacy efforts, with the aim of addressing urban issues together.

Particularly, Park and Yoichi Masuzoe, governor of Tokyo, met for the second time to deepen further the partnership between Seoul and Tokyo. After opening the door to stronger ties between the two cities, which had been severed for the past ten years, during Masuzoe’s official visit to Seoul last July, Park made his return visit to Tokyo this time.

At the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Park and Masuzoe promised mutual and practical exchanges of information closely related to citizen livelihood, including safety, the environment, and tourism. In regards to city safety, Tokyo will transfer its know-how on technology and management, which has been accumulated over a long time, and Seoul will convey its know-how on the self-developed, IT-based pothole report system, in return.

Commemorating the fifth anniversary of the signing of the friendship treaty between Seoul and Hokkaido, Park was officially invited to Hokkaido. Park met with Harumi Takahashi, governor of Hokkaido, as well as the majors and governors of Saitama, Sapporo, and Otaru to seek ways to expand the basis for exchanges between the cities in the foreseeable future.

Mayor Park, on his way to Japan, said, “In order to resolve the issues related to the lives of citizens, the international community should maintain and solidify exchanges between cities and citizens’ to aid collaborations beyond borders.” He also added that Seoul and Tokyo will concentrate on conducting practical and substantial urban diplomatic ties, which would be is both cities’ common interests and will contribute to the betterment of the cities concerned.




Mayor Park Personally Delivers PT at Seoul Tourism Seminar and Targets Japanese Tourist Market

The Seoul Metropolitan Government will target Tokyo, the heart of Japan, with the aim of promoting tourism, one of the core axes of Seoul’s creative economy. Despite recent declining inbound tourists from Japan, it still remains Korea’s second largest visitor, after China. In 2014 (as of November), approximately 2.11 million Japanese tourists visited Korea, which is second only to China, but the rates are declining for various reasons, including a weak Yen.

On February 2, Park Won Soon, mayor of Seoul, hosted the ‘2015 Seoul Tourism Seminar in Tokyo, Japan’ , which was attended by some 100 participants from local travel agencies, related organizations and media, and promoted the city’s latest tourism resources, tourism policy and MICE support program. A highlight of the seminar was that Mayor Park became a one-day tourist guide for Seoul and delivered a 20-minute presentation titled “Seoul, a close and charming friend”.

In his presentation, he introduced Seoul’s new tourism resources, namely walking along the Seoul City Wall for which the city is pursuing its listing as a UNESCO world heritage, alleyways in Ihwa-dong and Seochon, areas that will unveil the city’s hidden charms, the eatery alley “Meokjagolmok” to taste Seoul’s traditional foods, Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), which has recently emerged as a new landmark, and Sevit Island.

He also held a meeting with executives from JATA (Japan Association of Travel Agents), where a relationship of friendly cooperation was forged through exchanges in 2014 (during their visit to Korea in February and August 2014), and pursued mutual cooperation to create a tourism boom in Seoul.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government will install a hotline with JATA, as a permanent communication channel, and offer a large-scale familiarization tour for JATA members to acquire hands-on experience of Seoul’s newest attractions. Furthermore, it will provide maximum comfort to encourage more tourists from Japan to attend festivals and events hosted by the city government and will also support the development of new products via prior consultations with JATA.

Mayor Park said, “Although we are seeing a decline in the number of Japanese tourists traveling to Seoul, their interest and preference for Seoul’s culture are still high.” He continued, “Japanese tourists have a high tendency to re-visit Seoul, which is why we intend to devote our best efforts to promoting the attractiveness of our newest tourism resources and actively encouraging their return.”




Seoul Metropolitan Library to Host Hangeul Daily Calendar Exhibition

The Seoul Metropolitan Library will host the “Hangeul Daily Calendar Exhibition,” highlighting the beauty of the Korean alphabet, from February 3 to March 1, 2015, in the Special Exhibition Hall, on the first floor of the library building. The exhibition aims to promote the figurative beauty, excellence and artistic value of Hangeul, globally renowned for scientific excellence, by expressing the 365 days of the year using onomatopoeia and mimetic words. The exhibition will be open to the public during library opening hours.

Inquiries: Seoul Metropolitan Library T. (02) 2133-0245




Seoul City’s Project to Make 29 “Creative Playgrounds”

The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to carry out a project to establish “creative playgrounds” for children by Children’s Day, May 5, 2015. Seoul City carried out safety inspections of the 1,357 playgrounds in the city, and decided to replace the 29 that were found to be dilapidated or failed to meet safety requirements with new creative and adventure-oriented playgrounds.

There are 33 others that were also found to fall short of safety requirements. Seoul City will renovate eleven of them with funding from the national treasury or relevant autonomous district offices, while replacing the remaining 22 with safe, creative playgrounds with unique features.

Of particular note, three of the playgrounds will be rebuilt with the help of private organizations, such as Save the Children and the Korea Park Facility Association (KPFA), as well as with the participation of local residents. The opinions of children, parents, teachers, and landscaping experts were collected through discussion sessions and the Daum Agora Forum.

The 29 new creative children’s playgrounds will be built and maintained based on the following guidelines:

① A total of 26 playgrounds located in parks are to be rebuilt as creative, adventure-oriented playgrounds.

These 26 playgrounds will be rebuilt on a total land size of 33,610 square meters in seven autonomous districts with KRW 5.022 billion in funding from Seoul City. Construction work will begin toward the end of February or early March.

② Private organizations will play a leading role in the establishment of three playgrounds.

These three playgrounds will be built with the positive participation of local residents. Save the Children, an international NGO that works to protect children’s rights and is engaged in rehabilitation and development activities in 120 countries, will pay the total cost of the construction. The plan includes the construction of two children’s parks (Sangbong Park and Sehwa Park) in Jungnang-gu. Save the Children will also hold a workshop and a recreational camp with the participation of local children and parents, and Seoul City and Jungnang-gu will provide relevant administrative support.

※Save the Children is an international, non-governmental organization that promotes children’s rights and is currently carrying out programs in more than 120 countries.

The remaining playground will be built with KRW 200 million in funding from the KPFA after the selection of a suitable site. This park will be designed for both children and adults.

③ Ten criteria for good playgrounds are to be announced on Children’s Day.

After considering the opinions of citizens and children’s organizations, Seoul City will announce ten criteria for good playgrounds on Children’s Day (May 5, 2015) in an effort to promote the improvement of playgrounds as spaces designed assist the development of children’s creativity.

The factors that will be considered while drawing up the ten criteria include: the playground construction process, overall atmosphere, criteria for facility installation, safety, and function as a neighborhood facility, among others.

④ A playground operation and management system will be established in cooperation with local residents and social enterprises.

Seoul City also plans to create jobs related to the operation of the playgrounds that are located in parks, in cooperation with local residents and social enterprises. So far, the management of playgrounds has been left to local senior citizens association or volunteer workers.

Seoul City will cooperate with related associations (social enterprises, senior centers, youth herb, and so on) to find people capable of managing the playgrounds on a part-time or full-time basis.

Seoul City will also work with neighborhood communities and experts throughout the design, construction, and management phases of the playgrounds in an effort to ensure they serve as spaces for neighborhood collaboration.

As for the 22 playgrounds that are to be dismantled by February 26, various programs, such as rope skipping and traditional plays, will be provided to fill the recreational void in the areas until the new playgrounds are completed. “Park Play-100” is one such program. It was developed by Seoul City to promote the healthy growth and development of children through diverse outdoor activities and develop their sense of spontaneous cooperation with others. It was operated on a trial basis in 26 parks and playgrounds throughout Seoul in 2014.

Furthermore, the inspections carried out in September and October 2014 showed that most children’s playgrounds in Seoul are in good condition, and 1,153 (85%) of them have been renovated since 2008.

A survey was also carried out to gauge public satisfaction with Seoul’s playgrounds, and the resulting satisfaction score of 62.2 is lower than the average score for Seoul’s public parks (74.3, 2013). Forty-eight percent (578) of the 1,202 survey respondents pointed to the need for improvements in the operation and management of playgrounds. Other issues identified by the respondents included hygiene management (23.9%), safety management (22.8%), improvement of existing facilities (20.2%), and fostering a more pleasant atmosphere (13.3%).

< A session for locals to express their opinions on neighborhood playgrounds >

<Some examples of creative playgrounds >

(Geokkuro Playground in Seodaemun-gu)

(Gusan-dong Village Playground in Eunpyeong-gu)

(Nangok Playground in Gwanak-gu)

(Saejaengi Playground in Seocho-gu)




“Seoul Statistics Map” Shows All Convenience Facilities within 1km

A person – let’s call her A – wanted to move to a place where schools and cram schools for her children, and large-scale supermarkets for shopping, were all located within close proximity, but she could not find such an area. Then, she learned about the Seoul Statistics Map, a service provided by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Using this service, A found a few places where schools and cram schools were located within 500 meters and a large supermarket within 1,000 meters.

Using various administrative statistical data, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will provide an “Urban Statistics Map (http://stat.seoul.go.kr/initinfo),” a service that provides people with information at a glance about the facilities that belong to eight types of business that are closely related to people’s everyday lives. Seoul is the first city in Korea to provide this service for citizens.

The Urban Statistics Map is convenient because not only does it mark the locations of facilities on the map, but also users can check the facilities within 300m, 500m, and 1km specifically. The Urban Statistics Map provides statistical information about businesses and welfare facilities through visual data, such as maps and images, instead of charts and figures, which previously had been difficult to decipher.

From over 1,000 types of businesses, in the government statistics, through collecting opinions from academics and experts, the Seoul Metropolitan Government selected eight types of business. These refer to food, shopping, medicine, education, living, culture, welfare, and finance, which are closely related to the livelihood of people.

Citizens can use the Urban Statistics Map to check the level of living convenience of specific areas for various purposes. When starting a business, citizens can check the distribution of businesses and use the map as a basic source to analyze the commercial district in the area of their choice. When moving, they can also check the distribution of amenities and convenience facilities, as well as schools, shopping malls, and hospitals beforehand.




Local Economy Revived through “Integrated Renewal” of Elevated Road near Seoul Station-Seoul Station Area

The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to turn the total 938m of the deteriorated elevated road near Seoul Station from a road for cars to a path for people. For the past 45 years, the elevated road has shared the glory and shame of our city. The elevated road will be connected to 17 pedestrian roads through Seoul Station Plaza and the area to the north of Seoul Station.

< Considered historical and future value, new opportunities created through renewal >

The elevated road near Seoul Station was rated D in the safety assessment of the Precision Safety Diagnosis in 2006. Given its high historical value as a legacy of the industrial era in Korea, and a high future value as the starting and terminal point of the Eurasian Railway, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has decided to renew the road to a space where people can relax and take strolls to create new opportunities instead of tearing it down.

The overall renewal plan is to link the city center, within the four gates, to the underdeveloped region to the west of the elevated road near Seoul Station and Seoul Station, the international gateway into Seoul, where over 390,000 people and 75 bus lines pass through every day.

Through this integrated renewal process, the government plans to revive Seoul Station as a “Bridge of communication,” a place where people can gather and gradually disperse into surrounding areas. By connecting and integrating the areas, traffic, and culture in the eastern and the western part of Seoul, which has long been disconnected, this proposal offers a new revival model for the dwindling local economy.

In particular, the construction of 17 pedestrian roads will open a new chapter of ‘walking tourism’ in Seoul’s history by connecting areas popular with tourists, such as Myeong-dong and Namsan, as well as Seoul Station, through history, culture, and shopping. The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to turn the Seoul Station area into a must-visit tourist attraction in Seoul along with Myeong-dong.

「Seoul Station 7017 Project」 Announced

The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the “Seoul Station 7017 Project” on January 29. The city government is holding an international contest, from January 29 to April 24, for the submission of construction designs to turn this plan into reality. The number 7017 is significant as it refers to ① the historical elevated road created in 1970 and reborn in 2017, ② the renewal of the elevated road from a road for cars in 1970 to 17 roads for people, and ③ a 17m-high elevated road created in 1970.

The 「Seoul Station 7017 Project」 is largely focused on ▴a significant improvement of the pedestrian environment through the renewal of the elevated road near Seoul Station, ▴ revitalization of Namdaemun Market and promotion of urban renewal, ▴ the remedy and resolution of problems related to communication, traffic, and safety.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government established the Urban Renewal Headquarters to specify the details regarding a new paradigm for urban development called “Seoul-Style Urban Renewal,” instead of tearing down architecture as they had in the past. Regarding the elevated road near Seoul Station, the city government aims to create a role model for urban renewal projects that will trigger the revitalization of the Seoul Station area.

“The elevated road near Seoul Station is an important infrastructure in the history of the city and the lives of the people,” said Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon. He also said, “Instead of tearing it down and building new things, as we had in the past, we are planning on creating new value that will add to the lives of the people through urban renewal. We will pursue this renewal project of the elevated road near Seoul Station, along with our citizens, so that it can become a symbolic example of the changed paradigm for development in Seoul.”

  • Collecting citizen expert opinions
  • Proposing the direction to utilize the elevated
    road near Seoul Station