“The City of Two-thousand-year History”, Turning All of Seoul into the Scene from a History Textbook
The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the “Basic Plan for Seoul, a City of History,” with the goal of systematically managing and developing the identity of Seoul, a city with a two-thousand-year history, giving the city back to citizens, and further firmly establishing the brand value as a world-class historical city.
Although Seoul has a two-thousand-year history and it has gone through several significant changes, from Hanseong, the capital of ancient Baekje, to Namgyeong in the Goryeo era, to the Joseon Dynasty period, and finally to the capital of the Republic of Korea today, citizens’ awareness about Seoul’s two-thousand-year history is unfortunately low, as the city has experienced multiple wars, the Japanese colonial era, and industrialization.
Seoul has set the goal of creating a Seoul which embraces the past, enjoys the present, and creates its own future history in order to conserve, manage, and utilize Seoul’s historical and cultural assets in a future-oriented way before it is too late. Seoul has set up 56 subjects in four areas to be implemented in 2017: ① Search and Conserve ② Use and Enjoy ③ Research and Educate ④ Region and World. To do so, the city began drawing the basic plan in 2014, and, after gathering opinions and lively discussions over two years, has established this basic plan.
First, the Search and Conserve area is aimed at the creation of a comprehensive and systematic conservation system in line with the overall urban plans, breaking away from old practices, in which historic and cultural assets were conserved individually.
Second, the Use and Enjoy area is aimed at the establishment of infrastructure, so that citizens can fully enjoy historical and cultural assets in their daily lives. It will also serve to identify unique aspects of Seoul to see and enjoy through using of the city’s history and culture.
Third, the Research and Educate area is designed to search for and articulate the identity of Seoul as a city with a two-thousand-year history. The city will set up the tentatively-named Seoul History Research Institute as a think tank dedicated to and specializing in this area, and will establish the Historical and Cultural Education Information Center for integrating and managing historical and cultural education for citizens within the institute.
Finally, the Region and World area will consolidate the city’s brand value as a historical city through exchanges and cooperation with other historical cities around the world, as well as local governments and related agencies.