Seoul to Provide for the Energy-Vulnerable, ‘No Gas Supply’ Areas by 2020

With the rate of urban gas consumption at 98.2% within Seoul, Seoul will discover energy-vulnerable areas that do not have access to city gas for reasons of consultation that is necessary for gas pipe lines that go through privately-owned land, high-altitude bedrock areas, safety issues of old buildings, congested areas, etc. in order to supply them with gas by 2020.

Seoul plans to cooperate with autonomous districts, local residents, and five city gas companies to discover households in straggling areas upon citizens’ request. Solutions appropriate to characteristics of each area will be found through on-site inspections, and step-by-step and continuous supply of gas will be provided to households for which construction is possible after arrangements are made with the residents.

Construction will take place following advance investments of five city gas companies and by method of collecting the principal through city gas fees. Level of satisfaction of citizens, construction fees, etc. will be reflected in the fees for adequate appropriation of city gas fees.

Last year, Seoul completed construction for 128 households that are not supplied with city gas upon request of Samyang-dong residents and made an additional discovery of 1,698 households in need of city gas supply in 14 autonomous districts and 34 dongs. Ten autonomous districts and 28 dongs in the Gangbuk region were confirmed to have many straggling and high-altitude areas.




Conveniently Check Seoul’s Tap Water Data

seoul city water delicious arisu 서울이 만들고 un이 인정한 건강하고 맛있는 서울의 수돗물, 아리수

Seoul will offer citizens news about water quality through the Arisu app for easier access to tap water information.

The Arisu app will be available on the Arisu website (http://arisu.seoul.go.kr) starting February 22, 2019, and users can select neighborhoods on the map for water quality information, Arisu’s supply routes and water quality per route, construction information, park water fountain locations, and check water quality in real time.

The five Arisu information offered include:
▴ Regular monthly tap water quality, ▴ the ‘Arisu Supply Route’ that gives information about routes of tap water supply and water quality, ▴ locations of park water fountains and quarterly water quality inspection results, ▴ information on waterworks construction in neighborhoods, and ▴ real-time water quality renewed every hour.




Seoul to Commence the ‘Era of 25,000 Electric and Hydrogen Cars’ This Year

Era of 25,000 Electric and Hydrogen Cars

Seoul is set to commence the ‘Era of 25,000 Electric and Hydrogen Cars’ by the end of this year. This year, 14,000 vehicles are expected to be distributed with the aim of popularizing eco-friendly cars. The amount distributed this year will be greater than 11,512 accumulated vehicles supplied over the past ten years.

Seoul aims to distribute a total of 13,600 electric cars. To make the switch from old diesel vehicles, the main cause of air pollution, to electric cars, Seoul will distribute 9,055 electric cars and 445 trucks. In terms of public transportation, 30 electric taxis and about 3.3 times the number of large buses will be supplied additionally as compared to last year. Compared to the 55 hydrogen cars supplied last year, there will be a sharp increase with 307 cars supplied this year.
To accommodate the convenience of vehicle charging with the increase of eco-friendly cars, the city will distribute 2,000 public electric car chargers and expand to eleven hydrogen car charging stations.

Seoul will provide subsidies for the promotion of eco-friendly cars by supporting KRW 12.06-13.5 million per electric car and KRW 2-2.3 million per electric motorcycles (subcompact cars) in accordance with vehicle performance and effects of improving atmospheric environment. The fixed amount of KRW 3.5 million (approximately 50% of the vehicle price) will be funded for hydrogen cars.

In accordance with Seoul’s electric vehicle support policy of 2019, KRW 500,000 will be funded for the scrapping of an old diesel car with a switch to an electric car, and up to KRW 1 million will be funded for the scrapping of an old diesel car with a switch to an electric car for residents in Seoul’s Green Transport Promotion Zone.

In addition to the subsidies, eco-friendly cars will receive tax reductions, 50% discounts at public parking lots, 100% exemption in congestion charge for Namsan Tunnel, and other benefits for economic efficiency.




Seoul to Develop a Thick Hangang Forest with Tree Planting at Six Hangang Parks

Seoul is set to plant 84,000 trees in six areas including Ichon Hangang Park in 2019 to implement the Hangang Forest Project for creation of heavy forests. The Hangang Forest Project will divide Hangang Park’s forest into three models by function Buffering Forest, Utilization Forest, and Ecological Forest to create forests suited to the characteristics of each location.

※ Hangang Forest: Classification of the three models of Ecological Forest, Utilization Forest, Buffering Forest

한강, 생태숲, 이용숲, 완충숲, 도로
  • Ecological Forest: Restoring nature with trees such as willows
  • Utilization Forest: Rest area by the waterside, presentation of various scenery
  • Buffering Forest: Buffer roadside noise and scenery

Seoul has continuously worked on the creation of Hangang Forest for four years from 2015 to 2018, planting 175,773 trees in the Buffering Forest, 194,707 trees in the Utilization Forest, and 258,015 trees in the Ecological Forest for a total of 628,455 trees planted, with the same added effect of an oasis and natural air purifier within the city.

As a countermeasure against fine dust, Hangang Forest as it will be landscaped will plant trees in the buffering zone, or the Buffering Forest, with superior dust-adsorption ability to prevent roadside dust. Trees for shades will be planted to create shaded rest areas in the Utilization Forest to improve the convenience of the people.

Ichon Hangang Park will expand its bamboo forest from Dongjakdaegyo Bridge to Hangangdaegyo Bridge to plant 12,500 trees for creation of a green forest to be enjoyed year-round.

Gwangnaru Hangang Park will plant 31,200 trees at Gwangjingyo Bridge to create flower-covered bicycle lanes filled with floral scents in the air which will be the Gwangnaru bicycle road flower path forest.

The 5km from Ichon to Mangwon Hangang Park will be planted with 1,000 trees to design themed walks and trails that allow visitors to appreciate the tranquil riverside.

In the vicinity of Sebitseom Island at Banpo Hangang Park, 10,800 trees will be planted to offer the people convenience in addition to Sebit Forest’s tree-shaded rest areas.

Around Seonyugyo Bridge at Yanghwa Hangang Park, 10,300 trees will be planted to create a green buffer zone to shield and reduce the noise and dust of Olympic-daero.

Around the baseball stadium by Nanji Hangang Park, 8,200 trees will be planted to provide shade for the convenience of the people

The ‘Hangang Forest Project’ is scheduled to be completed by the end of June 2019 and opened to the public.




Seoul to Distribute 7,090 Divisions for Eco-Friendly Weekend Farming Starting February 1

Starting at 9 a.m. on February 1 (Friday), Seoul will begin distributing 7,090 divisions of land as part of “Together Seoul Eco-friendly Farms” in fourteen areas near Seoul, including Namyangju, Yangpyeong, Gwangju, and Goyang-si, on a first come, first served basis via the Seoul City website (www.seoul.go.kr). Distributed farms can be used freely between April and November.

“Together Seoul Eco-friendly Farms” consists of 7,090 divisions of land at 16.5㎡ (standard 5 pyeong) in the Hangang River Water Supply Protection Area of the Namyangju, Yangpyeong, and Gwangju regions, and in Goyang-si located west of Seoul. The project has been in operation since 2000 to provide citizens the opportunity for healthy use of leisure time.

Seoul will offer 30,000 KRW of support per 16.5㎡ (5 pyeong) for farm rentals in addition to free provision and support of seeds, lettuce seedlings, organic fertilizer, pesticide, and farming education material.

Citizens who participate in weekend farming will pay a rent of 30,000 KRW (70,000 KRW in Goyang-si) per farm division to the water supply protection area, and payments can be made via credit card or virtual account.

Further inquiries can be made through the Seoul City website (www.seoul.go.kr), Dasan Call Center (120), or the Seoul Metropolitan Government Urban Farming Division (☎2133-5398, 5388).

Photos of Together Seoul Eco-friendly Farms

Photos of Together Seoul Eco-friendly Farms



Seoul Explores 150 Themed Walking Trails over Four Years, Published as Four-Volume Book

Beginning with the first publication in 2016, the fourth and final volume of ‘Seoul, Themed Walking Trails’ that introduced the beautiful and varied walking trails in different corners of the city during the course of four years has been published, to complete the series of the adored books.

The four published ‘Seoul, Themed Walking Trails (I-IV)’ books are divided into ▴Walking Trails through Forests (75 trails), ▴Walking Trails with Beautiful Views (23 trails), ▴Walking Trails with History and Culture (24 trails), ▴Walking Trails through Valleys (5 trails), and ▴Walking Trails through Hangang River and Rivers (23 trails) for a total of 150 trails.

The ‘Seoul, Themed Walking Trails (complete volume)’ is packed with course introductions, public transportation and directions, maps and photos, nearby attractions, and stories that can only be experienced on the trails. The entire volume is published in a handbook size for portability.

‘Seoul, Themed Walking Trails (IV)’ will include a themed map of KakaoMap in the first half of 2019 to introduce all content in a mobile form. The books will be available for 3,000 KRW at the Seoul Bookstore in B1F of Seoul City Hall starting January 26. The books can also be downloaded for free at the Seoul Metropolitan Government e-book-exclusive website (http://ebook.seoul.go.kr).

Seoul, Themed Walking Trails (Ⅳ)

Seoul, Themed Walking Trails (Ⅳ)
1. Poi Walking Trail2. Palgakjeong Pavilion Trail
Poi Walking TrailPalgakjeong Pavilion Trail
3. Danghyeoncheon Stream4. Cheong Wa Dae Front Trail
Danghyeoncheon StreamCheong Wa Dae Front Trail
5. Ecological Park Dulle-gil6. Jingyeong Sansuhwa Trail
Ecological Park Dulle-gilJingyeong Sansuhwa Trail



Seoul Concludes MOU with Audi Volkswagen Korea for School Green Areas

Seoul signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Audi Volkswagen Korea and Korea Social Investment, for the “Green Dreaming School Route Project” that will promote pleasant and safe environments around schools.

Through this agreement, every year over the next three years, from this year until 2021, a minimum of one area will be selected from school routes for elementary, middle, and high schools in Seoul most likely to produce the best results, to create a green space for environmental improvement and expand green culture in mutual cooperation.

The “Green Dreaming School Route Project” is a project that improves the pedestrian environment by creating a green belt for students, who may be otherwise exposed to traffic accidents and various sicknesses from air pollution and fine dust, to grow safely and healthily. The project will be implemented by 2021, with a total cost of approximately one billion KRW over the three years.

Project locations for consideration are ▲sites in which roadside trees and green belts can be developed, ▲sites in which green fences and retaining walls can be installed, and ▲sites in which the walking area and green space can be secured by reducing the number or width of traffic lanes.

As result of promoting various urban green space projects linked with corporate social responsibility, Seoul produced substantial results attracting private capital of approximately 12 billion KRW from 153 businesses over the past six years.

Conclusion of “Green Dreaming School Route Project” MOU

Seoul plans to reduce air pollution in school routes and improve the environment through the signing of a “Green Dreaming School Route Project” agreement with Audi Volkswagen Korea and Korea Social Investment as part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) of businesses concerning the ‘Seoul, a Blooming Flower’ campaign.

  • Agreement Overview
    • ○ Date and Time: 15:00~15:30, January 22 (Tuesday), 2019
    • ○ Location: Mugyo Annex 9th floor conference room
    • ○ Parties of Agreement: Seoul Metropolitan Government, Audi Volkswagen Korea, Korea Social Investment
  • Agreement Details
    • ○ Mutual cooperation of the Green Dreaming School Route Project
      • – Agreement Term: May 31, 2019 –2021 (three years)
      • – Details: Environmental improvement of green space along elementary, middle, and high school routes (one billion KRW)
    • ○ Role Distribution
      • – Seoul Metropolitan Government: Cooperative project planning, administrative support, and project promotion
        (Site support through deliberation with autonomous districts, various licensing procedures, administrative support)
      • – Audi Volkswagen Korea: Cooperative project planning, project management, and budget support
      • – Korea Social Investment: Establishment of detailed plans, project execution, expert consulting
  • Order of Progression
    Order of Progression
    14:40Arrival of Visitors
    (20′)Discussion◦Venue: Green Seoul Bureau Office
    ◦Attendants: Director of Bureau, Audi Volkswagen Korea, Group President, Korea Social Investment Representative
    15:00Agreement Ceremony (20′)◦Venue: Mugyo Annex 9th floor Conference Room
    (3′)Opening and Guest Introduction◦Chairperson: Head of Landscape Planning Division
    (7′)Greeting◦Order: Audi Volkswagen Korea, Korea Social Investment, Seoul Metropolitan Government
    (5′)Agreement Signing and Exchange◦ Audi Volkswagen Korea, Seoul Metropolitan Government, Korea Social Investment
    (5′)Commemoration Photo◦ Audi Volkswagen Korea, Seoul Metropolitan Government, Korea Social Investment
    15:20Closing of Agreement Ceremony

※ Agreement ceremony conclusion photos to be delivered after event




No Disposable Cups for Take-out Coffee in Seoul City Hall from 2019

From January 1, 2019, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will completely prohibit the use of disposable paper cups for take-out coffee, or plastic supplies for food delivery, from being brought into City Hall. The SMG will organize the campaign at the main entrance to foster awareness between the staff and the public until January 11, 2019, to promote their voluntary and active participation.

From New Year’s Day of 2019, the waste basket for disposable cups available at every entrance to have the public officials and visitors conveniently dispose of their disposable cups as they enter the building, after having emptied their cups of contents. The baskets will be only temporarily available until everyone acclimated to the new policy.

<Disposable cup waste baskets available at all entrances>
Disposable cup waste baskets available at all entrances

The SMG announced, “This measure will first be implemented for the City Hall and the annex buildings, however, we are also looking into expanding its implementation to businesses, financial institutions, and district offices, following recent public opinion.”

Additionally, the SMG is pursuing a variety of policy to encourage an eco-friendly City Hall, free of disposable supplies, including the furnishing and using reusable cups instead of disposable ones during meetings and in the office, serving drinks in mugs or rewarding discounts when a customer uses one’s own mug at the café or the snack bar in the City Hall, banning the sale of disposable supplies and plastic bags, and utilizing recycled eco bags.




Seoul and Starbucks to install trial ‘disposable cup collection bins’ on streets

Seoul and Starbucks to install trial ‘disposable cup collection bins’ on streets

Seoul will install trial ‘disposable cup collection bins’ on streets with Starbucks Coffee Korea, the Ministry of Environment, and the Korea Zero Waste Movement Network to increase recovery of disposable cups on streets.

Seoul plans to install 17 bins in the tourist congested areas of Itaewon, vicinities of universities, Gwanghwamun, and other areas with floating populations located within the four districts of Jongno-gu, Yongsan-gu, Dobong-gu, and Dongjak-gu upon request by the end of this year.

Seoul will collect disposable cups and manage the collection bins through help of the autonomous districts. Starbucks will be responsible for the production, first installments, and repairs of these collection bins. A portion of the sales profit of tumblers and multi-use cups will be invested as funds. Seoul plans to continuously confer with autonomous districts and Starbucks regarding the design and management of the collection bins.

Amidst the announcement of the “comprehensive plan for Seoul with no disposable plastic,” which aims at reducing use of disposable plastics by 50%, and achieve 70% recycling between September 2018 and the year 2022, this trial project will allow for easier collection and sorting of disposable cups to increase the percentage of recycled items.

In addition to the installment of the disposable cup collection bins, Seoul and Starbucks will operate ‘disposable item-free trial stores’ where disposable items will not be offered to customers along with other plans to reduce use of disposable items.




Seoul promotes 「Seoul Without Disposable Plastic」

Seoul promotes 「Seoul Without Disposable Plastic」

Seoul revealed its goal to reduce use of disposable plastics by 50% and achieve up to 70% recycling by the year 2022 through the 「Seoul Without Disposable Plastic」 project.

Seoul plans to hold trial operations after the temporary opening in preparations for its official opening next spring. During the trial operation period, the states of local and foreign plants will be minutely observed to ensure stable settlement of the plants, and citizen opinions will be collected for any improvements or supplementations required for operation.

< Leading practice of zero disposable plastic use in public >

All disposable plastics will be removed from public institutions as to set an example. Seoul-affiliated organizations currently do not use disposable items in office buildings, and this will be implemented on civil consignment organizations by 2019. Starting next January, Seoul government office buildings will limit entrance of employees and citizens holding disposable cups and will install a temporary collection bin at each entrance to realize government office buildings with no disposable products.

Sports facilities, parks, and public sites will also practice reduction of disposable products. For shops, restaurants, and food trucks at sports facilities and parks, recycling bins will be installed at each location or permission to use disposable plastics must be acquired beforehand.

< Fortified development and publicity of citizen-initiative practice campaign>

Under the foundation of leading practice of public organizations, five disposable items used most commonly in daily life—cups, straws, plastic bags, delivery utensils, dry cleaning covers—will be selected and publicized to civic organizations to induce changes in the lifestyle of citizens.

Five individuals from each autonomous district, who will be resource circulation leaders for educating and publicizing reduction of disposable items and enforcement of recycling, will be selected annually for a total of 500 individuals to be trained by 2022. There will be the additional trial project, the Resource Circulation School, centered around Seoul Upcycling Plaza that will include education for youths to reduce disposable items, facility field trips and experiences.

< Establishment of distribution structure with no giving or receiving of disposable plastics >

In addition to leads by public organizations and the citizen practice campaign, the project will be expanded to civil organizations to manage use of disposable items at distribution centers, franchises, and other venues with heavy use of disposable items.

Business operators of legally permitted businesses and goods must conclude a relay voluntary practice agreement for the reduction of disposable items and to induce voluntary participation and practice of the public.

< Maximized recycling of used disposable plastics >

A collection and selection system and facilities will be expanded for maximized recycling of used disposable items. This will first be implemented in areas with single houses where recycled items are collected together, so that there will be specific days on which plastics will be collected and recycled.

Public infrastructure will be fortified through establishment and enlargement of recycling centers in autonomous districts while vehicles that collect recycled items will be replaced and automatic recycled items collectors and recycling equipment will be improved.

Public buildings, autonomous recycling centers, subway stations, and other unused spaces will be used to recreate an uncycling exhibit, experiences, a DIY shop and more for the creation of a Re&Up Cycle area and for the expansion of a recycling and upcycling culture. This will be centered around Seoul Upcycling Plaza located in Yongdap-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul.

Seoul promotes 「Seoul Without Disposable Plastic」




Seoul Botanic Park to open temporarily starting the 11th

‘Seoul Botanic Park’ will hold a six-month trial period following its temporary opening on October 11th and before its official opening in May of next year.

Seoul plans to hold trial operations after the temporary opening in preparations for its official opening next spring. During the trial operation period, the states of local and foreign plants will be minutely observed to ensure stable settlement of the plants, and citizen opinions will be collected for any improvements or supplementations required for operation.

During the trial operation period, all areas of Seoul Botanic Park will be open for free, and matter of payment for admission into the greenhouse and other facilities will be determined after considerable discussion and collection of opinions from citizens and experts.

Seoul Botanic Park to open temporarily starting the 11th

Seoul Botanic Park combines a ‘park’ where citizens can enjoy rest and leisure with a ‘botanic garden’ where plants are exhibited and visitors can learn to create a botanic park. Its total area is 504,000 ㎡, which is roughly the size of 70 soccer fields (7,140 ㎡ each), 2.2 times the size of Yeouido Park (229,000 ㎡) and approximately the size of Seoul Children’s Grand Park (536,000 ㎡). Seoul Botanic Park currently retains around 3,100 species of plants and plans to secure up to 8,000 species for collection, exchange, research, and propagation.

Seoul Botanic Park is directly connected to Magongnaru Station of Line 9 and the Airport Railroad (Exits 3, 4), which allows for fine accessibility. The park is located 30 minutes from Gangnam (Sinnonhyeon Station) and 40 minutes from Incheon International Airport.

The ‘Theme Garden’ that features an outdoor theme park and the Plant Culture Center (greenhouse, learning culture space) that exhibits 12 urban plants from around the world will be open from 09:00-18:00 while other sections will remain open around-the-clock.




32 Asian Cities Meet in Seoul to Find Solution for Fine Dust

The ‘2018 Northeast Asia Forum on Air Quality Improvement’ is holding it’s largest scale meeting yet for two days starting Tuesday, September 4 at Seoul City Hall, with major east Asian cities meeting to discuss solutions for air quality improvement.

This year’s forum will be attended by 18 cities from four northeast Asian countries including Beijing, Tokyo, and Ulaanbaatar, and seven cities from southeast Asian countries for a total of eight countries and 25 cities throughout East Asia. There will be over 300-atmosphere environment specialists, etc. attending the forum from each country. Cooperative atmospheric improvement plans will be discussed for the capital, where Seoul will attend along with Incheon, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, and Chungcheongnam-do, Korea.
‘The Northeast Asia Forum on Air Quality Improvement‘ was first started in Seoul in 2010, making this year it’s eighth opening.

On the first day of the forum, September 4th, there will be specialist presentation sessions by country for emission reduction plans regarding major sources of fine dust – the transportation sector and living sector. Cooperative plans for cities regarding atmospheric improvement will also be presented.

On the second day of the forum, September 5th, there will be an open discussion on public and private cooperation plans between attending government officials, environment research institution environment specialists, and civic society organizations from main cities in Korea, China, and Japan.

With the increasing temperatures, decreased winds and precipitation, and other climate changes taking it’s toll on the atmosphere quality, this forum will also hold the ‘Korea Local Government Talanoa Dialogue’ on the afternoon of the 5th to discuss plans for reducing greenhouse gases.

Seoul is going beyond just sharing policies to reduce atmospheric pollution throughout northeast Asian cities during this year’s forum, and is expected to be a stage to transmit fine dust management know-how discussed and shared at other forums to the southeast Asian countries suffering bodily ailments due to the harmful effects of fine dust that has been created due to their large-scale construction projects. Additionally, this should be an important opportunity for citizen participation in the making of policies through civic organizations.

More detailed information on programs and speakers can be found on the 8th Northeast Asia Forum on Air Quality Improvement website (http://www.airforum2018.kr), and any other inquiries can be made to the managing secretariat (☎ 02-6952-0653, airforum2018@kimexgroup.co.kr).

32 Asian Cities Meet in Seoul to Find Solution for Fine Dust

32 Asian Cities Meet in Seoul to Find Solution for Fine Dust