Seoul has been selected as one of the top 7 sustainable cities by the Guardian, the respected English daily newspaper.
During celebrations for Earth Hour, one of the largest environmental events in the world, the Guardian announced that Seoul is one of the seven most sustainable cities in the world on March 20th (Sun.) 2016 in its online edition.
※ Earth Hour: A global environment protection movement of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). It is a climate change campaign to turn off lights for one hour starting at 8:30 on the third Saturday in March every year. In 2015, individuals, corporations, and institutions in over 7,000 cities of 172 countries participated in the campaign.
The seven cities include Hamburg, Oslo, Bogota, Helsinki, Milano, and Sao Paulo along with Seoul. The Guardian explained that these cities have been practicing diverse programs for a long time to secure their sustainability.
It introduced Seoul as “the leading city in open data and the fastest Internet network in the world” with policies to provide free Wi-Fi to all public areas including buses and subways by 2017.
In addition, it mentioned Seoul’s sharing economy and introduced its online platform “Sharing Hub” to connect users and sharing services and support sharing corporations.
Since the Seoul Metropolitan Government adopted preemptive sharing economy as a countermeasure against various urban problems such as parking difficulties and pollution in 2012, it has been supporting 64 start-ups and groups and implementing daily-life oriented sharing projects such as car sharing in residential areas, parking space sharing, and tool-sharing libraries.
These innovation cases of Seoul drew attention from the world, and were introduced in major international media such as Forbes, the American Economic Magazine, and LA Times. The Guardian selected Seoul as one of the most innovative cities along with New York, Paris, and Berlin and focused on the active participation of citizens, the sharing economy, and welfare policies using the fastest Internet network in the world and social media in its article titled “the Mayors who are changing citizens’ lives” in June last year. Seoul has been awarded for municipal policies through innovative public-private cooperation in the Place Marketing Forum hosted by Regional Attractiveness and Place Marketing Chair consisting of 21 municipal institutions, including French local governments, councils, and regional committees.