In 2018, Seoul was awarded the ‘Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize’, which, being one of the most prestigious awards in the world, is only given to cities that have achieved outstanding results in becoming livable, vibrant, and sustainable.
Seoul was highly regarded for its civic-participation urban regeneration programs, including walkway regeneration, historical and cultural regeneration, and industrial reconstruction. The ‘Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize’ Secretariat revealed that the Seoul has been selected as “the city innovated itself by introducing civic-participation urban regeneration methods instead of façade demolition in the process of urban centering and recovering of stagnant areas, and creating an urban planning framework that increases the quality of life of citizens.”
On March 16, 2018, Mayor Park Won-soon expressed his feelings on this award on behalf of the citizens of Seoul and announced related policies through a presentation.
Through a presentation, Mayor Park Won-soon reported the urban innovation results achieved during the process transforming Seoul into a sustainable city and introduced the civic-participation process, which is the driving force of this program. As a representative example, Mayor Park Won-soon introduced the ‘2030 Seoul Plan’, which is Seoul’s supreme city master plan developed over a long period of time with the participation of citizens, experts, administrators, and scholars. Before then, urban planning was the responsibility of administrators and experts. However, Mayor Park revealed that they transcended those limits, and were able to obtain great results.
Mayor Park Won-soon said, “Citizens are the owners of Seoul. Citizens are in the center of all policies, from small policies to the master plan itself. Seoul citizens are the owners of this award. We will continue making more and more efforts so that the know-how of creating this new Seoul with the participation of citizens can become the key to solve the common problems of all cities around the world and move towards a sustainable future.”