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Economic Promotion

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  • Creating a Sustainable City!

  • SMG 4448

    [Developing Solutions Together Through Sharing]

    • What is ‘sharing’?
    • Seoul’s choice of sharing as a sustainable city strategy
    • ‘Sharing’ engrained in the daily lives of the citizens of Seoul, a city of 10 million people!

      *Space sharing
      *Suit sharing
      *Gift sharing
    • ‘Seoul Sharing Festival’ held by the citizens of Seoul (November 6-7, 2016)

    The worldwide trend of ‘Sharing’…

    Sharing is the idea of many people quantitatively dividing ownership of a single thing; it can also be thought of as ‘joint ownership’. This idea of sharing/joint ownership can further be subdivided based on the thing being shared and is applied in the form of a shared economy, shared city, and/or shared companies. The concept of a ‘shared economy’, in particular, was first introduced by Lawrence Lessig, a professor of Harvard Law School, in 2008. Defined as an economic system based on collaborative consumption in which many people share facilities and products, the ‘shared economy’ was selected by Time magazine in 2011 as one of the top ten systems with the potential to change the world.

    Creating a Sustainable City!
    Seoul meets the shared economy Shared hub
    Seoul meets the shared economy Shared hub

    Seoul’s choice of sharing as a sustainable city strategy

    The city of Seoul is now using the concept of sharing (specifically, the sharing of resources) to solve a variety of urban problems including insufficient parking space, environmental pollution, and excessive consumption. Shared economy policies have been gradually introduced in public sectors at the local government level; these policies have already produced tangible results, and the world is taking notice.

    The city of Seoul first considered the shared economy as an alternative solution to many of the social problems born during a period of slow economic growth because a shared economy makes the most of existing resources, thereby increasing the utility of resources without the need for new investments of resources and capital. In 2012, the Seoul Metropolitan Government launched the ‘Shared City Seoul’ project and promoted the project by preparing a systematic basis for sharing, creating a shared economy ecosystem, and spreading the sharing culture.

    In order to further establish the systematic basis for sharing, the city of Seoul continues to actively cooperate with 25 district offices, education offices, and schools and has established numerous sharing promotion ordinances and committees. In particular, the government has sought to make sharing programs more relevant to citizens’ lives by promoting village- and school-level sharing programs including its car sharing program for residential areas, parking space sharing, and tool libraries.

    ‘Sharing’ engrained in the daily lives of the citizens of Seoul, a city of 10 million people!

    The ultimate goal of the ‘Shared City Seoul’ project is to improve the lives of citizens by incorporating ‘sharing’ into the daily lives of each of Seoul’s 10 million residents. The project further aims to transform Seoul into a sustainable city where citizens can live happy lives and work together to solve the various problems of the city.

    • Public space sharing: 1,145 places, used approximately 230,000 times
    • Public parking lot sharing: 1,260 lots
    • Children’s clothing sharing (290,000 cases), tool libraries (130 libraries), toys (47 stores)
    • Suit sharing: 1,500 suits, 1,500 shares per month
    • Housing sharing: urban private rental rooms: 904 (general: 790 cases, Korean traditional houses: 114 cases)
      ‘Empathy between Different Generations Living Under the Same Roof’ (209 cases, connecting 267 college students with elderly citizens)
    • Shared cars: 3,377 cars, 897,000 members, average of 4,200 users per day
    • Public data sharing: 4,237 cases, statistics, big data including transportation, tourism, and administrative information

    According to a survey of 2,500 adult citizens on the topic of the city’s sharing programs, 9 out of 10 respondents had heard about or were aware of more than one of the 16 sharing programs currently implemented by the city of Seoul. Respondents’ awareness of individual sharing programs was ranked in order as follows: car sharing (81.2%), bicycle sharing ‘Ttareungi’ (77.1%), urban private rental rooms (65.1%), and shared housing (63.7%). Results also showed that 82% of those surveyed who had actually used sharing services were satisfied with their experience. Some of the Seoul sharing programs that have directly affected the lives of Seoul citizens the most are described below.

    ① Space Sharing – Meetings held in unused space at public facilities!

    Through its space sharing program, the city of Seoul has made previously unused space at public facilities available for use by the public.

    In addition to providing space at public facilities, the city of Seoul has also opened 1,100 additional public meeting places around the city. These spaces include auditoriums and lecture halls at the community centers of 25 local governments, and some spaces are even open in the daytime and nighttime (including weekends) for the added convenience of citizens. Since these meeting rooms/auditoriums include amenities such as cabinets and shelves, citizens are easily able to use them as shared office space, and communities can use them on weekends for small-sized club activities.

    Citizens can use shared facilities after paying a minimal service fee through the Seoul public service reservation system site (http://yeyak.seoul.go.kr).

    Space Sharing – Meetings held in unused space at public facilities!
    Multi-purpose community space (Community space + Library + Café) Shared hub
    Multi-purpose community space
    (Community space + Library + Café)
    Citizens using the community center

    ② Suit sharing – Sharing high-quality suits using Seoul’s ‘open closets’

    One of the city’s sharing programs—suit sharing—is particularly popular among younger residents.

    Suit sharing services allow those who need high-quality clothes for interviews or weddings to borrow donated suits. The services also help jobseekers getting ready for last-minute interviews to prepare for the actual contents of their interview without worrying about what they’re going to wear. Suit sharing services also allow young pregnant couples to take beautiful wedding/engagement photos without spending a bundle on new clothes.

    These clothes sharing facilities, known as ‘open closets’ are the only shared clothing facilities in the world where those in need can rent high-quality suits for job interviews, weddings, funerals, meetings with future in-laws, concerts, theater performances, conference presentations, photograph shoots, and more. One thing that makes these open closets so special is that all the clothes in the closets are donated and come attached with a paper detailed the memories and stories of their donor—stories that seek to give comfort, encouragement, and support to the wearer. Many of the stories and letters shared between donors and lenders can be seen by visiting the open closet website (https://story.theopencloset.net). These heart-felt messages have become so popular that they’ve taken on a life of their own.

    Suit sharing – Sharing high-quality suits using Seoul’s ‘open closets’
    Inside an open closet Employees of an open closet
    Multi-purpose community space
    (Community space + Library + Café)
    Citizens using the community center

    ③ Gift sharing – My gift is your gift

    Sharing extends to gift as well as all things, places, and hearts.

    One sharing program that touches upon all of these is ‘Eunpyeong e Pumasi’, a sharing program that enables people to buy goods without actual money by utilizing their gifts. A multilateral trading system that enables members to exchange goods and gifts using ‘Mun’, a local, citizen-created ‘currency’ of Eunpyeong-gu, the ‘Eunpyeong e Pumasi’ program connects individual values and the economy to build a community of trust and virtue. ‘Eunpyeong e Pumasi’ is based on the idea that members will be able to voluntarily perpetuate the system by freely sharing their gifts and offering things (both tangible and intangible) that are valued by other local residents.

    Currently, the local currency of ‘Eunpyeong e Pumasi’ is being implemented using the following three components.

    The primary component of ‘Eunpyeong e Pumasi’ is ‘members’. Members are people in the area who have become acquainted with each other, have formed a community, and are actively engaged in the program.

    The second part of ‘Eunpyeong e Pumasi’ is ‘affiliated stores’. Since there is a limit to the types and volume of gifts and recycled products that can be used and shared between households, it is important for program participants to use and receive local currency at affiliated stores, hospitals, and restaurants. Through the promotion of affiliated organizations, the flow of actual money to other regions is reduced and an economic circle of virtue is created within the community.

    The third component of the program is ‘small groups’. The spread of small groups is likened to the flower of ‘Eunpyeong e Pumasi’, enabling people to discover their hidden gifts and have their gifts recognized by other members. In other words, the purpose of small groups is to create value. As such, small groups are not only places where the known gifts of group members can be appreciated and honed, but are also places of discovery where new gifts can be unveiled and used for the greater good.

    Gift sharing – My gift is your gift
    Opening ceremony of the Eunpyeong Sharing Center Woodworking classroom
    Opening ceremony of the Eunpyeong Sharing Center Woodworking classroom

    ‘Seoul Sharing Festival 2016’ – Where Seoul citizens come together and share!

    So what exactly are the effects of sharing? Car sharing, one of the city’s most successful sharing programs in recent years, has already had the effect of reducing traffic congestion and environmental pollution. In the simplest of terms, the sharing of resources increases their utility. By sharing a single resource, people can use the resource as much as they want while collectively reducing the total amount of resources used. Following this logic, sharing is a more economic and convenient way of living.

    How can I share with others? What would I like others to share with me?

    The 10 million citizens of Seoul have continued to ask themselves these questions, and as a result, a wide range of sharing programs has been introduced.

    To celebrate this spirit of sharing, the city of Seoul recently held the ‘Seoul Sharing Festival’ from November 6 to 7, 2016, at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP).

    The ‘Sharing Festival’ provides an opportunity for citizens to experience Seoul’s sharing policies and shared economy. One of the main highlights of the 2016 festival was the ‘Forum for Debate’, through which citizens discussed the direction of ‘Sharing Seoul’ by analyzing world trends of shared economy. The festival also featured a variety of programs and events, including an exhibition participated in by 32 shared companies and organizations and the ‘Sharing, Sustainable Future City Strategy’ conference. Other events included a number of DDP Hanbok fashion shows and experiences and a sharing hack-a-thon results presentation.

    The city of Seoul plans to continue to develop the annual festival (now in its fourth year) as a representative festival celebrating the shared economy and hopes that the festival will play a part in encouraging citizens to embrace ‘sharing’ in their daily lives and spur new sharing ideas.