Seoul, Republic of Korea - BreatheLife2030
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Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Photo by junaidrao. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Seoul takes a citizen-centric approach to urban transformation, rapidly switching from a top-down industrialization drive that fed the rapid growth of an Asian Tiger economy, to bottom-up processes that are putting the city on a path favouring liveability, people and public health over vehicles.

In Seoul, citizens are at the centre of city planning. They are consulted on planning decisions and they decide on what to do with 5 per cent of the municipal budget. My government has been working closely with our residents to improve the air quality in Seoul, which reaches crisis levels several times a year. But still, Seoul is still very much a car-centered city. We need to move from a car-centred city to a pedestrian-friendly city, especially within the downtown. It's very good for the health of citizens, because they are working there on an everyday basis. We have implemented many projects to ensure that Seoul remains a liveable city as we continue to grow, but a pedestrian-friendly and bike-friendly city is the most important part of our direction.”

Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul