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  • Seoul to additionally designate Green Transport Zones in Gangnam and Yeouido

  • Press Releases SMG 846
    • Seoul will additionally create the Green Transport Zone in the Gangnam and Yeouido neighborhoods until the end of this year
    • After the full-scale operation of the Zone, overall traffic volume decreased by 12.8 percent, and that of vehicles in Grade 5 has decreased by 45.9 percent
    • Once the collection of the citizens’ opinions through the administrative notice and other processes, the designation and notification will follow this year
    • The expansion of the Green Transport Zone will contribute to establishing eco-friendly transportation infrastructure, managing traffic demands in an effective way, and developing sustainable green transportation

    SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, November 11, 2020 — The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that it will additionally designate the Green Transport Zones in the Gangnam and Yeouido neighborhoods until the end of this year.

    Since December 2019, Seoul has officially operated the Green Transport Zone in the city center enclosed by “Hanyangdoseong,” or the Seoul City Wall, in an effort to reduce the fine-dust levels in the air and control traffic demands in an effective way. Such a scheme has been proven to work.

    Seoul expects that the additional creation of the Green Transport Zone will transform the two areas suffering from heavy auto traffic and consequent air pollution into new transportation hubs where citizens can conveniently use smart and eco-friendly means of transportation including public transportation, bicycles, and autonomous driving shuttles.

    After the operation of the Green Transport Zone, the city center showed visible improvements in traffic and the environment

    The Green Transport Zone is an area designated by the Mayor of Seoul under Article 41 of the Sustainable Transportation Logistics Development Act for the development and promotion of green transportation.

    Once designated, the Zone with heavy traffic and excessive greenhouse gas emissions has more eco-friendly means of transportation, public transportation, and green spaces.

    Aiming to reduce greenhouse gases by 40 percent and vehicles’ operation by 30 percent by 2030, the city government designated the downtown area within the Seoul City Walls – eight neighborhoods in Jongno-gu and seven in Jung-gu covering 16.7 square kilometers – as the Green Transport Zone in March 2017. The special comprehensive measures to implement the Green Transport Zone was completed in June 2018.

    Since the Zone’s full-scale operation in December 2019, volumes of vehicle traffic and amounts of greenhouse gases have been reduced. Compared to those measured in July 2019, the overall traffic volume has decreased by 12.8 percent, and that of vehicles in Grade 5 has decreased by 45.9 percent. Accordingly, PM (fine particulate matter) in air pollutants is expected to be reduced by approximately two tons a year.

    Besides, the restructuring of roads and streets led to more walking spaces and less traffic. Since parts of streets, such as Toegye-ro and Sejong-daero, will become walking trails or bicycle roads with plants, they are expected to decrease traffic by 5.7 percent, increase the floating population by 38 percent, and even boost economic activities.

    The city government is also increasing the number of city bikes, installing bicycle roads, limiting car speeds at 50 or 30 km/h, installing square or diagonal crosswalks, and providing cars (EV) for sharing and operating green shuttles in downtown Seoul.

    The number of city bike rentals in the Green Transport Zone rose by 67 percent in March 2020 from the same month of the previous year. Currently, 27 green shuttle buses are running in four routes connecting Namsan to the inside and outside of the inner city. Since the parking fees increased by 25 percent during the seasonal control period of fine dust (January through March of 2020), the average number of vehicles using public parking lots decreased.

    Gangnam and Yeouido to be designated as Green Transport Zones by the end of this year

    The Seoul Metropolitan government decided to additionally designate Gangnam and Yeouido as Green Transport Zones and plans to announce the special comprehensive measures in the 1st half of next year.

    Under the applicable law, the city government already discussed with relevant parties, such as the Gangnam-gu Office, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, and the Incheon Metropolitan City, and the local transportation committee finished the review about the additional designation. Once collecting the citizens’ opinions through the administrative notice and other administrative processes, the designation and notification will follow this year.

    The coverage of the Green Transport Zones in Gangnam and Yeouido was decided based on the types of land utilization in downtown and commercial areas, economic activities, massive traffic triggering facilities, main development plans, and boundaries of administrative districts.

    Green Transport Zones in Gangnam and Yeouido
    to become leaders of cutting-edge smart city initiatives

    The newly created Green Transport Zones in the two neighborhoods will lead the city’s smart city initiative in the era of “Green New Deal,” where advanced technologies, eco-friendliness, and controlled traffic demand management are in harmony.

    In the Gangnam area, autonomous driving buses in local loops using C-ITS and infrastructure for private transport will be established, and the “MaaS” service integrating all of these and ensuring seamless movement will be provided.

    To complete the “Last 1mile” in connection with the internal transport and public transportation in the area, the city government is considering to designate a “lane dedicated for eco-friendly, slow-moving vehicles” for safe and smooth transportation of PM and micro-mobility, choose roads frequented by private vehicles and connected to public transportation system as pilot cases, and expand them to create a network throughout the area.

    To manage the traffic demand and reduce air pollutants, the city government plans to limit the operation of vehicles in lower grades of emission gases. Specifically, it will consider limiting the operation mostly on major roads and junctions crossing heavily crowded streets. As the measure will replace many vehicles with more eco-friendly means of transportation, it is expected to substantially reduce air pollution caused by emission gases.

    Yeouido will also be reorganized and have advanced transport, public transportation, and eco-friendly private vehicles. In preparation for the adoption of drone taxis, the future means of transportation will play a role as a hub connecting the airport and the city center. It will be a testbed for future transportation by linking GTX.

    Inside the area, circulation buses, bicycles for the riverside, and PM infrastructure will be provided for a greener environment. Simultaneously, the city government plans to limit the operation of vehicles with a lower grade of emission in major bridges of the area to control the demand for vehicles and reduce air pollution in the area.

    Hwang Bo-yeon, Deputy Mayor for City Transportation, said, “The creation of Green Transport Zone within the Seoul City Walls, the first of its kind in Korea, successfully reduced the operation of vehicles in Grade 5 by 45.9 percent, and expanded sidewalks by reorganizing roads and streets. It also reduced ultrafine dust levels. Based on these achievements, we plan to additionally designate Yeouido and Gangnam so that we can address the traffic and environmental issues in these areas and present a vision for a new smart city.”