The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) signed an MOU with The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) on June 8 to respond to climate crisis and promote their Urban Forest Project.
The SMG and HSBC’s collaborative Urban Forest Project is an ecological restoration project that aims to create urban forests to improve urban air quality, reduce urban heat islands, and offset carbon emissions by planting various trees in damaged or neglected green spaces in Seoul. Having promoted the project since 2013, the SMG it will select one site annually for a total of three sites until 2024 with a budget of KRW 3 billion.
The SMG will present the basic direction related to the Urban Forest Project and provide administrative support, including consultations with related organizations, while HSBC will provide the necessary funding for the project.
The first target site is a damaged 1,000-square-meter green space around the walking trail of Mullae Neighborhood Park in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul. The goal is to start construction in the second half of the year and complete construction by October. The SMG plans to collect local residents’ opinions and plant various trees that match the surrounding environment to transform the area into an urban forest.
The SMG has been promoting various urban greening projects in connection with enterprises’ CSR activities, with this MOU being an extension. In an effort to create urban forests all over Seoul, the SMG has been carrying out urban greening projects with 197 enterprises, attracting about KRW 17.5 billion of private capital in the last eight years. As such, the SMG’s urban greening projects are considered a successful case of public–private partnership.