Seoul City received the Scroll of Honor Special Citation award from the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT).
The award honored Seoul City for its three important sustainable development and social cohesion based projects: the SHIFT long-term housing rental system, the transformation of Nanjido, a former dump site, into an eco-friendly park, and the restoration of Cheonggyecheon.
As the most prestigious human settlement award in the world, the Scroll of Honor was launched by the UN-HABITAT in 1989, and its aim is to acknowledge initiatives which have made outstanding contributions towards developing and improving human settlement and the quality of urban life. A winner of the Special Citation award is chosen following a rigorous on-site inspection and isn’t selected every year as a general award. So, the Special Citation award is particularly meaningful, and it’s the first time that South Korea has won the award.
Anna Tibaijuka, under-secretary-general and executive director at the UN-HABITAT, hailed Seoul’s SHIFT system, which supplies homes at lower prices, in her statement that both developing and advanced nations need to benchmark this long-term housing rental solution adopted by the Korean capital.
“Seoul is a shining example of a newly sustainable, inclusive, friendly, green and welcoming city. I congratulate you and the city leaders for this great achievement!” Tibaijuka said.
Tibaijuka added that these initiatives and achievements by Seoul have inspired cities in Africa and Latin America through a renewed sense of optimism and hope.
The Scroll of Honor award recognized three public projects by Seoul to make the city cleaner and greener: the SHIFT long-term housing rental system, first introduced by Seoul City and now being benchmarked by other local governments, the transformation of Nanjido into an eco park and the restoration of Cheonggyecheon. These projects have been highlighted by the United Nations agency as role model initiatives for the international community.
“These initiatives of the Seoul Metropolitan Government are outstanding examples of effective planning and coordination of implementation. They have resulted in a positively wholesome impact on the living environment in the City of Seoul. They can, and must be, replicated in other cities with similar attributes and situations,” the UN-HABITAT said.