Policy Sharing

What is the Seoul Policy Sharing Initiative?

The background of the Seoul’s Policy Sharing Initiative is that as the Seoul city has experienced a rapid growth around over 60 years since the Korean War ages, our know-how with regard to urban development practices (or trials and errors) has also been accumulated. Nowadays, the Seoul city with our own valuable knowledge on urban planning and development is highly evaluated as the one of representative smart cities in the top of the world.

The Seoul city, however, do not consider our material, technical and intellectual assets as the only belonging to us for our solely development. In those reasons, we would like to provide other developing countries and cities with our key policies information in various areas, which is able to help your cities to achieve your sustainable development concerning economic, social, environmental growth. In other words, Seoul’s remarkable development experiences  want to be humankind’s common assets through not only building reliable and concrete partnerships between private and public sectors but also making our collaborative efforts dedicating to constructing individual sustainability and livable cities in the world. 

Expanding Urban Diplomacy

by forming sister and friendship city relationships with more cities

The Seoul Metropolitan City has formed sister city or friendship city relationships with 58 cities worldwide. Starting with a sister city relationship with Taipei in 1968, the SMG concluded sister city agreements with 23 cities including Washington D.C. (U.S.), Tokyo (Japan), Beijing (China), Paris (France), and Moscow (Russia). Starting with a friendship city agreement with Ottawa (Canada) in 1997, the SMG concluded friendship city relationships with 45 cities including Los Angeles (U.S.), Shanghai (China), Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), and Milan (Italy).

Through active diplomatic efforts of the 5th and 6th SMGs, the number of sister cities and friendship cities have rapidly increased.For the past  six years (2012-2018), the SMG has formed new sister city and friendship city relationships with 29 cities, accounting for 43% of the total number of its sister and friendship cities.

Sister & Friendship Cities of Seoul: Total 71 cities as of October 2019

Classification Sister city (23) Friendship city (48)
Taipei(Chinese Taipei)
Hanoi (Vietnam),
Shandong, Jiangsu, Guangdong,
Zhejiang, Tianjin, Shanghai, Sichuan
Chongqing (China)
Vientiane (Laos),
Colombo (Sri Lanka),
Kathmandu (Nepal),
Bandung (Indonesia),
Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam),
Ankara(Turkey), Moscow(Russia),
Warsaw(Poland), Rome(Italy),
Athens(Greece), Paris(France)
London (UK), Berlin (Germany),
Copenhagen, Odense(Denmark),
Amsterdam(the Netherlands),
Budapest (Hungary), Minsk(Belarus),
Milan, Lombardy (Italy),
Barcelona, Bilbao (Spain)
New South Wales (Australia) Wellington (New Zealand)
Africa &
Middle east
Cairo (Egypt) Adis Ababa (Ethiopia),
Tshwane (South Africa)
Tel Aviv(Israel)
Washington D.C, Honolulu,
San Francisco(USA)
Bogota (Colombia),
Mexico City (Mexico),
Sao Paulo (Brazil)
Los Angeles, Houston(USA)
Ottawa, Montreal (Canada),
Buenos Aires(the Argentine
-Republic), Federal District (Brazil),
Panama city(Panama)


The world is experiencing urbanization at an extremely rapid pace. From 1950 to 2010 the global urban population has grown from 751 million to 3.6 billion (UN, 2012). Currently, the global urban population reached to 4.2 billion accounting 55% of the world’s population (UN, 2018). This translates into an urban population increase of 6 million every month.

By 2050 another 2.5 billion is projected to be added, with almost 90% of this growth happening in emerging countries of Asia and Africa. Just three countries – India, China and Nigeria – together are expected to account for 35% of the growth in the world’s urban population between 2018 and 2050 (UN, 2018).

Amid such urbanization on a global scale, Seoul's experience of handling rapid urbanization has more implications compared to the experiences and urban planning strategies of the more advanced cities in the western countries.

Seoul’s urban development model is more appropriate for solving problem caused by rapid urbanization than an western urban development model. There is three reasons, below.

First, if cities in emerging countries emulate the development model of the western countries focused on low-density,

automobile-based urban development, the world would not be sustainable due to environment problems and lack of resources. So emerging cities must become eco-friendly and sustainable, unlike the already advanced western cities. Seoul city is an efficient and eco-friendly city in terms of carbon emission and energy consumption.

Second, in retrospect, western societies went through urbanization through industrialization, as the cities developed into manufacturing based cities.

However, in the case of Seoul as well as many emerging country cities, people first moved to the city without industrialization setting in. As the city expands rapidly, it is faced with a complex set of issues such as securing a strong economic foundation for the urban dwellers as well as sound living environment amidst unstable socio-economic conditions. Seoul is the only city that achieved sustainable growth in the economic, social, and environmental field despite the lack of resources and funding.

Third, in terms of methodology, western cities seek to understand the interested parties and analyze their needs to build a city together.

However, with the rapid expansion of urban population in which hundreds of thousands of people each year flock to cities each year, it is difficult to categorize the interested parties, and in many cases it is close to impossible to fully determine those working in the informal sector. Instead of spending years on research for planning, it is important to take prompt action to prevent the deterioration of quality of life of the urban dwellers. In contrast, Seoul has realized its urban vision through future-oriented, preemptive urban planning thanks to the devotion of leaders, experts, and public officials.

Seoul's urban development


The 'urbanization' planning strategy to respond to the rapid urbanization needs of today must be different from the 'urban' planning of the western societies. It is important to devise a forward-thinking and preemptive urbanization strategy and promptly implement the plan. An urbanization planning strategy distinct from urban planning will be instrumental for the cities in emerging countries in tackling various issues that arise from rapid urbanization. Also, in the coming years, such strategy will have much implications for other cities around the world seeking to build more sustainable cities.

Seoul stands ready to cooperate with global cities to enhance the quality of life for all the citizens and build an economically prosperous and environmentally sustainable city. Going forward, Seoul city government will give higher priority to projects in partnership with emerging cities undergoing rapid urbanization in order to share Seoul's experiences and know-how.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has been contributing to solving global urban issues by sharing its excellent policies for urban issues.

The SMG has executed 72 collaborative projects with 45 cities in 33 countries. Through systematizing its experience and technology as business models since 2012, a total of 55 projects, accounting for 76% of the total overseas projects, have been conducted under the Seoul Policy Sharing Initiative.

Areas Concentrations County/City's Name


Transit-Smart- Card System(16) China/Beijing (2006-2010) Establishment of Automatic Fare Collection System
New Zealand /Wellington (2007-2013) Implementation of Transportation Card Bus and Establishment of Settlement System
New Zealand /Auckland (2011-2013) Implementation of Transportation Card Bus and Establishment of Settlement System
Malaysia/Kuala Lumpur (2009-2013) Establishment of Bus Payment System
Malaysia/Kuala Lumpur (2014-2017) Consultation of integrated settlement system
Colombia /Bogota(2011-2015) Establishment and Maintenance of Automatic Fare Collection System
Thailand/Banqkok(2012-2016) Consulting on Establishing Transportation Card system
Greece/Athens(2014-2016) Establishment of e-ticketing System
Mongolia /Ulaanbaatar(2014-2025) Establishment of Automatic Fare Collection and Management of Bus System
Côte d´Ivoire/Abidjan (2015) Establishment of Automatic Fare Collection System
Saudi Arabia /Mecca(2015) Consultation on Establishment of ITS Master Plan
Malaysia/Malacca (2015-2025) Establishment of Automatic Fare Collection system(including Maintenance)
Egypt/ Cairo(2016-2017) Established basic plans for introducing automatic Metro ticket issuing system
Thailand/Bangkok(2017-2018) Development of an e-ticket system for public bus under BMTA
Philippines/Department of Transportation(2018-2019) Consulting on the development of national standards on transport cards for the Philippine Department of Transportation
Philippines/Department of Transportation(2018-2019) Feasibility study on the development of an integrated public transport computer system for the Philippine Department of Transportation
Traffic Information Center(3) Mongolia /Ulaanbaatar(2008- 2009) Establishment of Transportation Information Center
the Azerbaijani Republic /Baku(2008~2011) Establishment of Transportation Information Center
Philippines/ Metropolitan Metropolitan Manila (2015) Consultation on Smart Transportation System Construction
Transportation Planning(9) Ghana/Accra (2014-2016) Consultation on Establishing Master Plan for Urban Transportation System
Sri Lanka /Colombo (2013-2016) Public transportation system of Sri Lanka and its metropolitan area
Vietnam/Danang (2015-2016) A Study on the Establishment of Metropolitan Transportation System
Indonesia/Bandung (2015-2016) Policy Advisory Support on Development for Transportation infrastructure
Colombia /the Ministry of Information and Communication (2016-2017)  Provided consulting services for urban development plan and sustainable transportation system establishment to improve public transportation service
Mongolia /Ulaanbaatar(2017-2018) Established mid- to long-term plan for intelligent transportation system
Ukraine/Kyiv(2018) Development of a master plan on the smart city diagnosis for Kyiv, Ukraine
Philippines/Cebu(2018) Improvement of public transportation in Cebu, Philippines
Uzbekistan/Tashkent(2018-2019) Support for the development of strategies for public transport in Tashkent, Uzbekistan 
Transportation Policy(2) Indonesia/Bandung (2017-2018) Provided consulting services on policies to support bus system improvement plan establishment
Kenya/ Nairobi(2017-2018) Provided consulting services to support intelligent transportation system and public transportation system improvement
Bus Operation Nicaragua/Managua(2017-2018) Feasibility study on transport modernization

Water Management (4)

Facilities(2) Peru/Chanchamayo(2012-2018) Water Facilities Improvement-ODA Project
Indonesia/Central Java(2014) A Feasibility study on water purification systems Improvement Project
Facilities Maintenance and Management Brunei Darussalam (2012-2020) Consulting Project: Infrastructure Construction in PMB Industrial Island
Water Quality Mongolia /Ulaanbaatar(2013-Ongoing) Analysis on Water Quality for 'Tap Water'

e-Government System(13)

e-Government(4) the Republic of Mozambique/Maputo(2013) A Feasibility Study on e-government System
Ethiopia /Addis Ababa (2013) A Feasibility Study on e-government System
Uganda/Kampala(2018-2019) Development of a master plan for the e-government system for Kampala, Uganda
Argentina/Buenos Aires(2019) Support for the development of a master plan on the construction of a data center for the city government of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Anti-disaster system
Colombia /the Ministry of Information and Communication (2015) Urban Disaster Preventing System by Big-data
Construction Administration System(3)
·Thai (Accounting Audit Department)
·Ukraine/ Infrastructure Ministry
·Jordan/Public Business Housing Department
Pre-consulting on the development of Anti Corruption Clean Construction System
Philippines/Department of the Interior and Local Government(2018-2019) Pre-consulting on the development of Anti Corruption Clean Construction System
Tunisia/Anti-corruption agency(2018-2019) Pre-consulting on the development of Anti Corruption Clean Construction System
Participatory System India/ Mumbai (2014-Ongoing) Consulting on Civil Participatory Policy and System Development by Using ICT infrastructure
Commercial District Analysis Argentina / Buenos (2017) Provided consulting services on commercial area analysis using big data
Transport System Analysis Ukraine / Kiev (2017) Conducted feasibility study for big data-based transportation policy establishment system
Tax System(2) Indonesia / Bandung (2017) Provided consulting service for tax system
Sri Lanka/Colombo(2018) Consulting on the development of the tax system

Urban Railroad (11)

System Melioration(3) Bangladesh / Chittagong (2013-Ongoing) Consultation on Improvement of Infrastructure for 11 Station Signals
Myanmar / Yangon (2016~2017) Established basic plan for railway system modernization, conducted preliminary feasibility study
Myanmar/Mandalay(2017-2018) Mandalay-Myitkyina railroad repair/renovation project: Feasibility study on the Maw Han-Kadu section
Facilities Design(3) Vietnam/ Ho Chi Minh City (2013-2014) Designing the line 1 of Railway
Bangladesh/Ministry of Railways(2018-2020) Purchase/production of railcar (narrow gauge) in Bangladesh 
Myanmar/Mandalay(2018-2019) Cable car management in Mandalay, Myanmar
Financing(3) Vietnam/ Ho Chi Minh City (2015-2016) Consulting on Urban Railroad Policy for Improvement Through Public- Private Partnership
Colombia Development Bank (2016-2017) Established financial support plan to promote urban traffic infrastructure project
Indonesia/ Jakarta (2017) Provided consulting services on policies for light rail transit project through private - public cooperation
Maintenance Management(2) Philippines/ Metropolitan Manila (2015-2017) Consulting on Management and Maintenance of Light Rail Transit Line
Vietnam/ Ho Chi Minh City(2017) Provided consulting services on policies for Metro management and operation

Urban Planning (3)

Technopolis Vietnam/Dannang (2014) Consulting on Strategy of Urban Planning -► "Hi-Tech Park"
Regional Development  Myanmar /Hantharwady + Yangon (2015-2017) The Master Plan on Regional Development on the outskirt of Hantharwady Airport and the in Southwest region of Yangon State
Education Saudi Arabia/National Development Company(2018) Education/Training for the application of Seoul’s smart city system in Saudi Arabia 


Resource Recovery Facility Singapore/Jurong Island (2013-Ongoing) Sambcorp Waste disposal System Construction
Stream Rehabilitation China/Hunan, Henan(2015) Consulting Project on Stream Rehabilitation Planning in Dongjiang Lake, Qihe County
LED_Streetlight Philippines/ Metropolitan Metropolitan Manila (2016 - 2017) LED Streetlight Installation by IoT(Internet of the Thing)
Improvement of landfill Philippines/Metro Manila(2018-2019) Preliminary study on the improvement of unhygienic landfills

Emergency Management (3)

Fire and Disaster(3) Bangladesh /Daka(2014) Consulting Project on installation of Fire and Disaster Preventing System
Bangladesh/Bangladesh Fire Service & Civil Defence(2017-2020) PMC on competence in fire services
Vietnam/Fire Prevention, Fighting and Rescue Police Department(2017-2018) Policy development for the modernization of the fire department

Capacity Building (2)

Public Service Ethiopia/ Addis Ababa(2016) The Program on Building Capability of Public Servants in Addis Ababa
Panjim, Hubali-Dharwad, Simra, Madhya Pradesh (2016) The Project on Smart City in India based on Applying for Korean ICT Technic

Contents Creation(2)

Bast Practices Study Developing Countries (2017) Publishing Excellent Practice Publications on Tourism, Cultural Heritage Preservation, and Urban Regeneration
ITS Guide Book Developing Countries (2017) Development of mobile-based ITS guidebook