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Seoul center eyes Asian city community

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Published : 2013-08-02 21:06
Updated : 2013-08-02 21:06

The Seoul Institute, a city research center, is pushing to form a research community with metropolitan cities in Asia, to build common ground for solving city issues and sharing policies.

“General consensus among global cities is necessary as they all share similar issues such as environment and traffic problems. I believe Seoul can take a lead in such areas,” Seoul Institute President Lee Chang-hyun told The Korea Herald on Friday.

In Asia, a coalition of local authorities called CITYNET has been the major organization working for city sustainability for more than two decades.

Starting with its own mega city research, the institute is planning to offer communal research and memorandums of understanding to other large cities with more than 5 million people.

Members of the group have not been decided upon yet, but 19 metropolitan cities in Asia are all potential partners for Seoul including Beijing, Tokyo, New Delhi, Manila and Jakarta, the president said.

“It will be a great opportunity for Seoul to promote its successful policies while checking up any possible problems of projects.”

Lee is also mapping out “Seoulution,” a collection of Seoul’s successful city policies, as part of efforts to “export” effective projects to other metropolitan governments.

“Seoul has many exemplary projects such as its public transportation card project, waterworks plan and anti-air pollution system. Seoulution will spread and share Seoul’s excellent experiences in various sectors to Asia.

Lee is scheduled to visit Southeastern countries including Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos in November to pass down the know-how through Seoulution.

By Lee Hyun-jeong (rene@heraldcorp.com)