Urban Planning Information System

Date 2014-05-27 Category Urban planning Updater ssunha
Last Update


The initial plan for the Urban Planning Information System (UPIS) dates back to April 1999, and in the following year the city began to work on the system.

The first step commenced at the Operational Level, which largely alleviated the burden of simple repetitive work of urban planning officials such as civil outreach and routine management including notifications, approvals, and statistics through computerization. To accomplish this, all of Seoul's urban planning information which included urban planning decision letters and drawings, was computerized and disseminated across various institutions, . Likewise, the GIS map-based database and the system that can be inputted by urban planning officials in real time were established.

The second step commenced at the Managerial Level, which aimed to build the system for amassing information based on the established database and to support policy decision making; this enabled officials to concentrate on high quality tasks rather than simple ones.
Since Feb. 2010, after the establishment of the Urban Planning Information System (UPIS) as the internal administrative system and commencement of its full operation, the Seoul Urban Planning Portal, the civil Internet service, was created to provide urban planning information in an easy, comprehensible manner and learn about urban planning related projects at a glance. The service has been providing citizens with such extensive services since Feb. 2011.


The planning and establishment of the Seoul Urban Planning Portal and the Urban Planning Information System (UPIS) were initiated in Apr. 1999; the service was opened to the public in Feb. 2011, with the aim to provide the urban planning information of Seoul promptly and accurately and support officials' rational decision making in urban planning.


As a megalopolis with a current population of 10 million people, Seoul has been the capital of South Korea for over 600 years, rivaling metropolitan cities around the world in terms of population and economic scale. In the past, Seoul was a city devastated by the Korean War in 1950. Numerous urban planning projects have been repeatedly established, modified, and abolished by the government leading to the rapid recovery of the city and bringing to its current status.

Note, however, that informing citizens who have a vested interest in the urban planning has been passive and perfunctory. Information on the plans or decisions regarding urban planning were austerely posted on small bulletin boards in front of government offices or scattered among Internet websites, which were too difficult and abstract for citizens to understand. Moreover, urban planning officials rarely shared any substantive contents.

Upon the arrival of a democratic, open society was the people’s growing desire to know the fundamentals of how an urban planning case is decided and realized in front of their houses and in their neighborhoods. The small bulletin boards in front of government offices and the scattered urban planning information could not appease the citizens as the city grew bigger with a rapidly increasing population.

Thus, a system has been required to gather the urban planning information of the City of Seoul to support the rational decision making of government officials and disclose to the public in a transparent, efficient manner.



1. Clear and Accurate Communication and Transmission of Urban Planning Information of Seoul

 Seoul is a megalopolis with a population of over ten million people. As such, its urban planning is on a massive scale and very complicated. Since it was quite challenging for citizens to acquire all the information on urban planning accurately and swiftly, Seoul established the Urban Planning Information System (UPIS) based on GIS and the urban planning portal, based on the realization of the necessity to inform citizens of urban planning decisions more efficiently and positively.

2. Support Information Sharing and Rational Decision Making by Urban Planning Officials

There have been physical limitations to retain and manage paper-based documents since some of the urban planning cases of Seoul take around 10~20 years to complete; thus producing a vast amount of administrative documents.
Moreover, although information sharing between departments, predecessors and successors, and city government and autonomous districts is essential in making consistent, rational decisions in urban planning, the past system that employed the use of paper documents had been limited in such manner, including the management of changes in work history.  It should be noted, however, that the establishment of UPIS which computerized the series of processes from drafting to decision making with GIS maps enabled all urban planning officials to share the information easily for rational decision making.



Over 1,000 urban planning officials of the Seoul Metropolitan Government and its autonomous districts are now entering all the procedures for urban planning from drafting to decision making, and such information is delivered to citizens in real time through the Seoul Urban Planning Portal, SMS text messaging, e-mail, and Open API service and marked on the GIS-based map. Currently, data containing 146,000 projects are stored in UPIS, and it has turned into a service visited on average by 1,000 people who were drawn by the slogan "You can find all the information about the urban planning of Seoul through the Seoul Urban Planning Portal." Furthermore, it became possible for 1,000 urban planning officials to be capable of consistent administration and prompt, rational decision making thanks to smooth information-sharing and to actualize clear urban planning administration by making the information on urban planning available.


The winner of 2013 Future Government Awards

Urban Planning Information System


Department / Contact

  • Urban Management Policy / So Hyun Jeon
  • International Relations Division  /  82-2-2133-5276  /  international@seoul.go.kr
  • Global Futrue Research Center  /  82-2-2149-1418  /  ssunha@si.re.kr