Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced funding support totaling \22.2 billion for 22 projects under the “2013 Community Initiative Projects”. Onsite support services will start from February when the year round applications are opened at the Seoul City Community Initiative website (http://www.seoulmaeul.org, 02-385-2642).
The Seoul Community Initiative Projects are citizen-led initiatives that seek to promote community spirit. Under this scheme, the City will evaluate funding applications for projects that help community spirit from community groups.
In 2012, the City enacted ordinances to lay the foundation for fostering community spirit, such as the establishment of the Community Support Center. Building on this foundation, citizens will now come together to use the power of the community to solve common problems such as childcare, crime and safety, and unemployment.
In particular, the Apartment Community Spirit Initiative targeting 58% of Seoul’s housing type was formally launched. For example, there are plans to provide support to projects that help residents reduce management fees through saving energy and transparency in accounting, and community improvement projects such as planting vegetable gardens and establishing small libraries.
Funding Pro-active Support for Good childcare and solving safety and energy issues Community Initiative Projects
Firstly, the Community Initiative Projects will start off by focusing on childcare. Two initiatives, “Parents’ Community” and “Communal Childcare”, will receive a total support of \1.6 billion. “Parents’ Community” is an initiative that aims to solve childcare issues of parents within the district; a total of 200 groups under the initiative will each receive support of about \5 million. “Communal Childcare” is a social care initiative to use cultural spaces, community centers etc., within each district for everyday activities. 20 groups solving childcare issues will receive annual support of \3 million to \4 million for operation, program and equipment costs.
“Self-sustaining Energy Community”, “Safe Community” are community projects relevant to everyday life which will receive total of \1.3 billion in support. “Self-sustaining Energy Community” project seeks to develop a model for self-sustaining energy community to encourage citizens to voluntarily save energy in their everyday activities. In addition to 7 districts chosen last year, a total of 10 districts will each receive \8 million to \10 million in support. The “Safe Community” initiative involves citizens working together during occurrences of crime and disaster to ensure a safe community. 80 such groups will receive 1 million to 20 million in support.
Apartment Multiculturalism, Hanok, Shopping Center to Promote Community Initiatives Making the most of Seoul’s Characteristics
Starting with initiatives to reduce management fees, up to \1 million will be allocated for Apartment Community Spirit Initiatives such as “Community Lending Libraries” where residents will be allocated bookcases for them to fill with books for communal lending, vegetable gardens and other urban agricultural projects, community childcare centers, and community boards for citizens to exchange information. \1.3 billion has been allocated to 150 projects under this scheme.
In addition, \500 million will be set aside for projects to promote “Multicultural Community Spirit”, “Shopping Center Community Spirit” and “Hanok Community Spirit”. “Multicultural Community Spirit” provides \3 million facilities construction and \5 million community activities funding to projects that promote peaceful coexistence and harmony between Koreans and foreigners in districts with high concentration of foreigners. “Shopping Center Community Spirit” refers to projects centered on shopping centers where merchants, citizens and customers work together to foster community spirit. 3-5 shopping center gatherings will receive support of up to \50 million. “Hanok Community Spirit” provides \10 million support for facilities and program development to 9 hanok villages and communities in the vicinity of Hanyang City. Community Infrastructure such as Libraries, Book Cafés as Infrastructure for Community Spirit activities Community infrastructure such as community libraries, village book cafes, community arts centers and youth “heu” cafes will become bases for residents to gather for community activities. To give residents easy access to community activities 748 community libraries, 30 village book cafes, 23 arts centers, 17 youth “heu” cafes spread across different districts will receive \5.1 billion support to be used as residents’ “sarangbang”. Efforts will also be taken to expand these spaces.
Rental Deposit or funding support for community businesses with strong public interest
Creation of community jobs for youth
\6.5 billion investment in “Community Business”, “Youth Community” initiatives. “Community Business” will provide rental deposit or operating expense support to businesses with strong public interest. Depending on the maturity of the company, 45 businesses will receive rental deposit support of \100 million which is to be returned within a 5 years, and 39 businesses will receive operating expense support; 30 businesses in their first year of operation will receive \50 million, 9 businesses in their second year of operation will receive \30 million.
In addition, 4 teams will be selected to receive \230 million in support under the “Youth Village” scheme to initiate education, consulting and mentorship projects with the aim of developing a model for job-creation for youth in the community.
Flexible and diverse Community Spirit Initiatives are Feasible
All feasible projects proposed by citizens will be considered for support. These projects will be given a total of \2.4 billion funding via “Use of Community Space Initiative” and “Building Community Spirit Activities”.
“Use of Community Space Projects” supports remodeling and interior furnishing costs after residents secure use of the space. Under a free proposal format, 15 projects will receive support of up to \50 million. “Building Community Spirit Activities” supports resident gatherings to solve issues related to the resident community. A maximum of \20 million will be set aside to support these projects via free proposal and pre-determined proposal formats.
Early Support for Integration of Space for Village Book Café Youth “Heu” Café and Communal Childcare Initiatives
The City plans to promote the integration of projects to achieve greater results. For example, support will be given integrate space development projects such as Village Book Café development and Youth “Heu” Café development with community improvement projects such as Parents’ Community and Communal Childcare.
When there is high level of requests by residents for such community space development these community spaces will only be developed according to the needs of residents and feasibility of projects. When the requests for such community space development are high the feasibility of the spaces to be used for community programs will be taken into consideration. In particular, from this year, before selection of the final projects, there are plans for residents to be involved in the short-listing of projects and consultation and incubation plans.
Community Consultation, Autonomous District, Accounting Assistance to allow anyone with get started with Community Business
This year, the “Community Consultation” system will take effect for all community spirit projects to simplify and systemize onsite support. Community Consultation system provides start-up support such as formulating resident’s proposal and application process, as well as professional consulting to further develop the projects. The scheme also provides supports for the most problematic area faced onsite; accounts for grants received.
Besides this, “Community Media” initiative and “Our Community Project” will receive \600 million and \380 million support respectively. Equipment, studio, production grants will be provided to allow any interested resident to produce contents based on their community and for these contents to be presented to the public. Village Media Festivals will also be organized. “Our Community Project” allows residents to personally identify and develop projects needed by their communities to be implemented. 122 projects will receive support totaling \380 million.