In the year since Park Won Soon’s inauguration as Seoul Mayor, the voices of 606,904 citizens have been delivered directly to Seoul City via the city’s various communicative channels including policy listening workshops, the citizens’ speech stand, SNS, the citizen as mayor-for-a-day program, the honorary deputy mayor system, the Mayor of Seoul’s Facebook, and diverse outings.
Over the last year, five people have been appointed as honorary deputy mayors, and a further eight people have served as mayor-for-a day. Some 365 people have received an opportunity for free communication, ranging from discussion of their personal stories to social issues, at the citizens’ speech stand. Mayor Park has also met and listened to 5,206 people’s opinions at a number of policy workshops, where their opinions are reflected in the formulation of city policies. The mayor has also met 510 citizens during various outings.
Moreover, he now has 600,000 followers via his SNS. In addition, Seoul City government officials have new policies through various communicative channels such as Imaginative Oasis and the 120 Dasan Call Center.
After considering a citizen’s suggestion at the “Health Seoul 36.5” policy workshop for improving the quality of health branch offices, ten more health offices will be opened in Seoul City. In addition, a social business online shopping mall will be opening at the end of October as a public purchase venue to accommodate citizens’ requests.
During the policy workshops many citizens’ wishes and concerns about Seoul’s policies were heard and reflected, with a total of 5,206 people participating in 39 sessions as of October 15.
The policy workshops focus on a wide range of important topics including jobs for young adults, social enterprises, traditional markets, urban agriculture, reading books, the public medical system, 2nd life plan after retirement, etc. Among the many topics, the most successful were “Making Seoul a city of readers,” “The Master Plan for Public Medicine,” and “Invigoration of urban agriculture.”
The Citizens Speech Stand, also known as “I have something to say!” was launched on January 11, 2012, opening up a communicative space where citizens freely discuss their concerns and diverse social issues.
Up until October 15, 2012, it was held 37 times with 365 participants. Furthermore, citizens’ suggestions were reported as part of the agenda of the “Weekend date with the Mayor,” and there was an opportunity for the mayor to listen and reply to the suggestions.
The citizen elected as mayor-for-a-day followed Mayor Park’s schedule for one day. A total of 8 people have participated in this program, and 5 people, including disabled person, an elder, a woman, a traditional merchant and a foreign, have participated as honorary deputy mayors, serving as citizen messengers for socially disadvantaged people.
“Masil” is the communicative portal by which Mayor Park listens to citizens’ suggestions directly. So far, he has met 510 people during the event, which has been held 51 times.
Mayor Park paid a visit to Yeongdeungpo Jjokbangchon as part of an on-site inspection to prevent water disasters, undertook a Han River policy tour for the elaboration of a roadmap, and visited the entrepreneur center and traditional markets to hear what the residents and workers have to say.
Mayor Park’s Twitter with 600,000 followers, Facebook, MeToday, and blogs have been used as communicative portals for citizens and the mayor.
Around 50 % of the 120,000 suggestions submitted by citizens via Twitter (weekly average of 840), excluding repetitive ones, have been processed, and the department has replied to 85.6% of complaints and suggestions.
Mayor Park’s Facebook has also become a communicative portal that enables him to get closer to Seoul’s citizens. A message about providing dressing rooms for children who play in the water fountains at Seoul Plaza was “Liked” by 25,700 citizens.
More ideas from citizens submitted on the Oasis of Ten Million People’s Imagination homepage (a citizens’ suggestion homepage) have also been reflected in the city’s policies. In the one year since the implementation of the ‘Seoul of Hope’ policy, 130 suggestions have were selected from among 6,357 suggestions, i.e., seventeen times the number of suggestions selected in 2010. On the other hand, some 3-4,000 policy suggestions were submitted via the 120 Dasan Call Center in the same period.