In just five decades, Seoul has seen its population increase by 43.3 percent and income soaring by 1,389 percent. This explosive demographic and economic growth was accompanied by the rapid expansion of public infrastructure, the advancement of technology and its use in policymaking. Behind this speedy and tremendous transformation of Seoul were strenuous efforts to tackle urban challenges that followed. With all those efforts, Seoul is now one of the most prosperous cities in the world. But the success story of Seoul does not end there as cities in developing countries are keenly interested in Seoul's development experience and achievements.
To address such needs from the developing nations and cities, Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has provided partner cities with policy consulting on a particular issue or directly taken part in their urban development projects. Either way, Seoul seeks to help them through the mission not just by resolving pending urban problems but by leading them to grow into more prosperous and sustainable cities. Seoul's experience-based knowledge turns into practical solutions that can be shared with cities in need of them around the world.
Seoul's exemplary policy sharing program raised the city's international profile and increased its local businesses' access to the global market through an extensive network of sister cities and partnerships. In particular, Seoul “packed” these model policies into “policy packages”, which serve as core marketing items for promotions abroad. The policy experiences “packaged” into the program include eight subject areas, including transportation, e-government, waterworks and sewage, urban railways, nature and the environment, and urban planning. The program also features sessions that invite government employees to Seoul from around the world so that they can learn about Seoul's policy accomplishments and take tours to relevant sites. To date, SMG has shared 38 of its policy packages with 32 cities worldwide. In an effort to promote and share its policy accomplishments on the global stage, Seoul began operating an urban policy archive website called "Seoul Solution (https://seoulsolution.kr)."
SMG also launched the quarterly-held Public-Private Partnership Forum for International Urban Development, which provides a major boost to Seoul's policy-sharing efforts by combining Seoul's administrative expertise, the advanced technologies of local businesses, and the extensive overseas networks and experiences of Korea's central government agencies (such as KOTRA and KOICA). Most recently, the forum drew the attendance of 480 people, including participants from 200 businesses and other government organizations, who have great interest in Seoul's policy measures supporting the globalization of local businesses.
SMG has been one of the most active cities in the world in terms of inter-city cooperation and sharing of its experiences in policies and best practices. As Seoul has accumulated expertise and experiences during its rapid industrial development, SMG has turned those valuable lessons into solutions that can easily be applied to cities experiencing similar compressed growth and subsequent problems.
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