□ Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon will embark on an eight-day tour of three European cities (Paris, France → Vienna, Austria → London, UK) between March 28 (Tues) and April 4 (Tues).
□ Seoul Mayor is officially resuming his city diplomacy activities after last November’s decision to cancel the scheduled European tour, judging that he could not vacate his seat as a mayor responsible for the capital city of Seoul in the midst of a national crisis.
□ The purpose of this trip is to promote Seoul’s leadership in air quality management, response to climate change, and sustainable development through inclusive growth. The plan is to raise global awareness about WEconomics, which is Seoul’s unique inclusive growth policy, and to enhance solidarity with global cities and international organizations working for innovation.
□ First, the Mayor will hold a joint press conference hosted by C40 with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, where they will announce the three cities’ plan of taking the policy initiative to expand the deployment of eco-friendly cars by making a transparent disclosure of vehicle emissions information.
□ The Mayor also plans to make a total of three speeches and lectures, one in each city. At the OECD headquarters in Paris, he will propose WEconomics as a solution to inequality and polarization in the presence of about 200 ambassadors from member states as well as the Secretary General of OECD, Angel Gurria. He will also introduce relevant policies of Seoul.
□ In Vienna, he will introduce Korea’s “Candlelight Revolution,” an unprecedented peaceful candlelight assembly that mended sociopolitical conflicts, in the keynote session of Security Days conference at Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)—the world’s only international organization dedicated to regional security—as well as the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) —a world-class think tank of the UK—.
□ In addition, the Mayor will work on strengthening networks with people in international organizations and organizations dedicated to social innovation. He will discuss global challenges including security and socioeconomic inequality with the Secretary General of OSCE, Lamberto Zannier, and build upon the existing consensus on ‘inclusive growth’ with the Secretary General of OECD, Angel Gurria.
□ The Mayor will also meet representatives from the three world-leading social innovation organizations of the UK (▴Locality ▴Social Life ▴SIX (Social Innovation Exchange)).
□ The Mayor will visit various sites in Europe that share a similar context of policies with Seoul in areas such as residence, pedestrian, and green energy. Among the sites are ▴Vienna’s UNO-City, a cluster of international organizations ▴Aspern Smart City, an eco-friendly and high-efficiency eco-city ▴Sargfabrik Cooperative Housing designed jointly by residents and architects ▴Mariahilfer Strasses that had vehicle roads transformed into pedestrian zones.
□ After last year’s meeting was cancelled as part of the entire European trip, the Mayor arranged another meeting with London Mayor Sadiq Khan in order to sign an agreement of friendly cooperation cities. He will also meet Mayor Michael Häupl of Vienna, Austria, which will be the very first exchange between them, in order to open the gate for future exchange and cooperation.
□ Mayor Park Won-soon believes that “rapid urban growth has left metropolitan cities around the world struggling with challenges such as wealth inequality, social polarization, and air pollution caused by greenhouse gases, and this situation desperately calls upon cooperation that transcends boundaries between cities and nations.” He talked of his commitment to “leverage this European tour as an opportunity to find a solution for ‘sustainable city’ through climate action, air quality improvement, and economic democratization, as well as a chance to promote Seoul’s leading policies such as WEconomics to the global community.”