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  • Publication of 2022 Seoul Life: Safety Income and Metaverse

  • Press Releases SMG 42
    • Seoul publishes 2022 Seoul Life dealing with 60 projects in four sectors of Seoul Vision 2030
    • The 2022 Seoul Life will be available as an e-book in mid-January on SMG’s website (http://ebook.seoul.go.kr)
    • The e-book will introduce the city’s policies and programs, including Safety Income, ICT-powered smart health care service, Seoul Festa, Seoul E-Prix, and Metaverse Seoul

    SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, January 6, 2022 – The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announced it would release the 2022 Seoul Life to introduce new policies and systems to its citizens. The handbook allows citizens to understand newly-executed projects and public facilities to open in 2022.

    The 2022 Seoul Life comprises 60 projects in four sectors as mentioned in Seoul Vision 2030. In detail, 22 projects in Coexistence, 17 in Safety, 8 in Global Leadership, and 13 in Future Sensibility.

    To cope with the pandemic, the city government will expand its operation of COVID-19 testing sites directly managed by the SMG as well as COVID-19 outpatient clinics in 2022. Also, Seoul will designate hospital beds for pregnant women and dialysis patients who got COVID-19.

    Coexistence
    Seoul will offer Safety Income to 500 households for three years as a token of its Coexistence goal. The households will be selected based on the city’s income and asset criteria. Then, the SMG will compare five-year-long changes to the households with comparative groups to see the effectiveness of the Safety Income.

    Once the plan goes into effect, single-person households can receive an average of KRW 685,000 a month (KRW 8.22 million a year).

    Seoul Learn, which has been providing 1:1 mentoring services and online courses to teens in low-income families, will expand its services to teenagers from single-parent families and North Korean defectors. In addition, it will provide educational content in various topics, such as college entrance, career path, common knowledge, humanities, social studies, and certificates and licenses to all adolescents and young adults.

    The SMG will increase supportive measures for mom-and-pop shop owners struggling to overcome the pandemic. First, the city will run a market development program for local brands. The goal of this program is to revitalize back alley stores. More specifically, Seoul plans to create regional markets, such as Yeontral Park and Sharosu-gil, by branding commercial districts in neighborhoods. Second, Seoul Sarang Gift Certificate will be updated so that citizens can use it more easily. The SMG said it will introduce new gift certificates and online-only gift cards that can be used across the city.

    To help the youth stand on their own feet, public housing and public transportation support will be provided. Additionally, young adults can take advantage of various consulting services when searching for a job, starting a business or looking for advice in finance, investment, and depression.

    Safety
    “On Seoul, Health On,” Seoul’s smart health care service providing an integrated self-health management service based on ICT, will begin in earnest this year. Last December, the SMG selected 50,000 citizens to participate in the On Seoul, Health On program. The participants will try out the service until this August. The city will expand the number of participants afterward. On Seoul, Health On gauges and records users’ health information via smart band, mobile applications, and websites so that they can manage their health by themselves.

    Furthermore, the city government will install the Seoul-type public daycare centers in all 25 districts to increase the quality of daycare services and reduce the educational gap among public, private, and family child care centers. When three to five daycare centers in the neighborhood cooperate and apply for the program, Seoul will be in charge of expenses needed to plan special programs for the community, execute programs, and hold meetings.

    Besides, the SMG will build indoor playgrounds for kids and create Seoul Public Kids Cafe. The entrance fee will be around KRW 3,000 to reduce the burden. Low-income families and families with more than two kids can use the facility for free. However, considering potential conflicts with existing private kids cafes, Seoul will only create small playgrounds without selling any food or drinks.

    The city will pay for kindergarteners’ lunches during semesters for kids to make sure they have eco-friendly lunches. Any children attending kindergartens in Seoul can receive subsidies for eco-friendly meals.

    Seoul also has supportive measures for single-person households. For example, the Safe Hospital Chaperon Service for single-person households whose pilot program started last November will begin its full service starting this month. Chaperons will accompany the patient from going to the hospital to returning home like a guardian. Any interested Seoulites of a single-person household can use this service at a low cost.

    Global Leadership
    Seoul Festa, the city’s global tourism festival, will be held in several locations across Seoul, including Jamsil Sports Complex, for five days from August 10 to 14. This event is organized to reinvigorate the sluggish tourism industry. While the Festa is on, Seoul E-Prix, a car racing event, and a Korean wave star concert will be held in Jamsil. Also, Seoul Shopping Festa will take place across the capital.

    The SMG will open Seoul Startup Hub M+ in Magok, Seoul’s state-of-the-art R&D convergence center. The city will provide offices and support the commercialization of technologies of companies in the Magok center. Other programs—Seoul Innovative Growth Fund, startup-investor matching, global market development, startup training, professional mentoring—will also be provided.

    Meanwhile, Seoul will renovate the Yulgok-ro 6-lane road. A space for the cultural asset will be created on top of the tunnel, and pedestrian paths will connect Changgyeonggung Palace and Jongmyo. The reconnection of the Palace and Jongmyo, which has been disconnected since 1931 under the Japanese colonial rule, is expected to inspire Korean’s confidence and provide green rest areas.

    The pedestrian path will open to the public in March. Entrance to the Changgyeonggung Palace is available once visitors buy tickets at the ticket office near the tunnel.

    Future Sensibility
    Regarding Future Sensibility, the SMG intends to establish Metaverse Seoul to offer different services, including experiencing Seoul’s tourist attractions and spaces where citizens can actively participate.

    From the second half of 2022, anyone will be able to access the service free of charge through their mobile devices. After 2023, Metaverse Seoul will be a platform where the city holds various festivals and events and handles complaints raised by citizens.

    The new Gwanghwamun Plaza will welcome Seoul citizens soon. The New Gwanghwamun Plaza Construction project will be completed this year. The project’s key is enhancing pedestrians’ experience while keeping the historical value of the site. The new plaza will open in the first half of 2022. Citizen square with forest and cultural rest areas will be available this year, but Woldae and Haechi statues will be restored by 2023.

    Seoul also plans to install a media facade when revealing the new Gwanghwamun Plaza to the public. LED panels and beam projectors will be installed on nearby buildings or walls to show media artworks.

    The city government said it will support the cultural experiences of elementary school students. By doing so, it will allow more citizens to experience art performances. In the same vein, the art community suffering from COVID-19 will have more chances to showcase their performance. The project the SMG is currently planning targets 6th-grade students living in the city. There will be no additional charge schools should bear. Seoul announced that it will expand the benefits to middle school students in 2023 and high school students in 2024.

    “I hope the newly-published 2022 Seoul Life can be a useful guidebook for citizens to understand and enjoy the city’s new policies,” said Kim Eui-Seung, Director General of Planning and Administration Bureau. He added, “We will keep publishing Seoul Life in the future and help Seoulites to see potential changes to their city life at a glance.”