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 71 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 48 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.

Sister & Friendship Cities of Seoul: Total 71 cities as of August 2020

Classification Sister city (23) Friendship city (48)
Beijing (China)
Taipei (Chinese Taipei)
 Tokyo (Japan)
Jakarta (Indonesia)
Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)
Hanoi (Vietnam)
Astana (Kazakhstan)
Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
Bangkok (Thailand)

Shandong (China)
Jiangsu (China)
Guangdong (China)
Zhejiang (China)
Tianjin (China)
Shanghai (China)
Sichuan (China)
Chongqing (China)
Hokkaido (Japan)
Vientiane (Laos)
Colombo (Sri Lanka)
Kathmandu (Nepal)
Bandung (Indonesia)
Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam)
Delhi (India)

Ankara (Turkey)
Moscow (Russia)
Warsaw (Poland)
Rome (Italy)
Athens (Greece)
Paris (France)
London (UK)
Berlin (Germany)
Copenhagen (Denmark)
Odense (Denmark)
Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Budapest (Hungary)
Minsk (Belarus)
Bucharest (Romania)
Istanbul (Turkey)
Milan (Italy)
Lombardy (Italy)
Barcelona (Spain)
Bilbao (Spain)
Brussels (Belgium)
Belgrade (Serbia)
Zurich (Switzerland)
Tallinn (Estonia)
New South Wales (Australia) Wellington (New Zealand)
Africa &
Middle east
Cairo (Egypt) Adis Ababa (Ethiopia)
Maputo (Mozambique)
Tshwane (South Africa)
Teheran (Iran)
Muscat (Oman)
Kampala (Uganda)
Tel Aviv (Israel)
Washington D.C (USA)
Honolulu (USA)
San Francisco (USA)
Bogota (Colombia)
Mexico City (Mexico)
Sao Paulo (Brazil)

Los Angeles (USA)
Houston (USA)
Ottawa (Canada)
Montreal (Canada)
Buenos Aires (Argentine Republic)
Federal District (Brazil)
Panama city (Panama)
Medellin (Colombia)


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 97 collaborative projects with 65 cities in 38 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

Transportation (36)

Transit-Smart- Card System (15) China/Beijing (2006-2010) Establishing an Automatic Fare Collection System
New Zealand/Wellington (2007-2013) Introducing a Smartcard Ticketing System for Buses and Establishing a Payment System 
New Zealand/Auckland (2011-2013) Introducing a Smartcard Ticketing System for Buses and Establishing a Payment System 
Malaysia/Kuala Lumpur (2009-2013) Establishing a Payment System for Buses
Colombia/Bogota (2011-2015) Establishing and Maintaining the Automatic Fare Collection System
Thailand/Bangkok (2012-2016) Consultation on Setting Up a Smartcard Ticketing System
Greece/Athens (2014-2016) Establishing an e-Ticketing System
Mongolia/Ulaanbaatar (2014-2025) Establishing and Operating the Automatic Fare Collection System and the Bus Management System
Malaysia/Kuala Lumpur (2014-2017) Establishing a Smart Integrated Payment System for Public Transportation
Côte d´Ivoire/Abidjan (2015) Establishing an Automatic Fare Collection System
Malaysia/Malacca (2015-2025) Establishing and Maintaining the  Automatic Fare Collection system
Egypt/Cairo (2016-2017) Introducting and Establishing the Basic Plan on the Automated Ticketing System for Metro
Thailand/Bangkok (2017-2018) Establishing the e-Ticketing System for Public Buses under BMTA
Philippines/Department of Transportation (2018-2019) Consultation on Development of National Standards for Transport Cards  of the Philippine Department of Transportation
Philippines/Department of Transportation (2018-2019) Conducting a Feasibility Study on Development of an Integrated Information System for Public Transport of the Philippine Department of Transportation
Intelligent Transportation System (5) Mongolia/Ulaanbaatar (2008-2009) Establishing a Transportation Information Center
Azerbaijani Republic/Baku (2008-2011) Establishing a Transportation Information Center
Saudi Arabia/Mecca (2015) Consultation on Devising a Master Plan on Setting Up an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) in the Outskirts of CBDs
Philippines/Metropolitan Manila (2015) Consultation on Setting Up a Smart Transportation System 
Mongolia/Ulaanbaatar (2017-2018) Developing Mid- and Long-term Planning recommendations on a Smart Transportation System 
Transportation Policies •Planning (15) Ghana/Accra (2014-2016) Consultation on Devising a Master Plan on an Urban Transportation System
Sri Lanka/Colombo (2013-2016) Consultation on Techniques regarding Advancing the Public Transportation System of Sri Lanka and its Metropolitan Area
Vietnam/Da nang (2015-2016) Conducting a Basic Study on Establishment of a Metropolitan Transportation System
Indonesia/Bandung (2015-2016) Consultation on Policies aimed at Supporting the Development of Transportation Infrastructure
Colombia/Ministry of Finance (2016-2017)  Consultation on Developing a Public Transit-oriented City and a Sustainable Transit System
Kenya/Nairobi (2017-2018)  Consultation on Developing Policies aimed at Improving the Intelligent Transportation System and  the Public Transportation System 
Nicaragua/Managua (2017-2018) Conducting a Feasibility Study on Transport Modernization
Indonesia/Bandung (2017-2018) Assisting in Establishing Policies aimed at Improving the Bus System
Ukraine/Kyiv (2018) Developing a Master Plan on Smart City Diagnosis for Kyiv, Ukraine
Philippines/Cebu (2018) Assisting in Improving the Public Transportation System of Cebu, Philippines
Uzbekistan/Tashkent (2018-2019) Assisting in Developing Strategies for Public Transport of Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Tanzania/Dar es Salaam (2019-2023) Establishing Plans on and Supervising projects regarding the Fourth Phase of BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) 
 El Salvador/San Salvador (2020-2022) Increasing Capabilities to Ameliorate the Metropolitan Transport System
Indonesia/Jakarta (2020) Consultation on Policies aimed at Improving the Public Transportation System
Kenya/Nairobi (2020-2021)  Consultation on Integrated Operation of  Management Centres in the Metropolitan Area
  Publishing Casebooks  Developing Countries (2017-2018)  Bringing Out a Mobile-based Casebooks about ITS targeting Developing Countries

Water Management (5)

Upgrading Facilities (4) Peru/Chanchamayo (2012-2018) Improving Water Facilities-ODA project
Indonesia/Central Java (2014) Conducting a Feasibility Study on the Water Purification System Improvement project
Papua New Guinea/Port Moresby (2014-2015) Conducting a Feasibility Study on Improving the Water Purification System
Vietnam/Hue (2016)  Producing , Purchasing and Installing Water Quality Testing Equipment 
Maintenance and Management of Facilities  Brunei Darussalam/Brunei Economic Development Board (2012-2020) Consultation on Constructing Infrastructure in PMB Industrial Island

e-Government System (16)

e-Government in General (4) Republic of Mozambique/Maputo (2013) Conducting a Feasibility Study on e-Government System
Ethiopia/Addis Ababa (2013) Conducting a Feasibility Study on e-Government System
Uganda/Kampala (2018-2019) Developing a Master Plan on e-Government System for Kampala, Uganda
Argentina/Buenos Aires (2017-2018) Developing a Detailed Action Plan on Building a Smart City for Buenos Aires, Argentina
Civic Participation System India/Mumbai (2014-2015) Consultation on Policies regarding Civic Participation and System Development using ICT infrastructure
Handling Civil Complaints Uganda/Kampala (2019-2021) Developing and Setting Up a System for Addressing Civil Complaints
Construction Administration System(2)
·Vietnam/Da Nang
·Thai/Accounting Audit Department
·Ukraine/Infrastructure Ministry
·Jordan/Public Business Housing Department
Pre-consultation on Development of a Clean Construction System
Philippines/Department of the Interior and Local Government (2018-2019) Pre-consultation on Development of a Clean Construction System
Tunisia/Anti-corruption Agency (2018-2019) Pre-consultation on Development of a Clean Construction System
Big Data (3)  Columbia/Ministry of Information and Technology (2015) System for Preventing Urban Disasters using Big Data
Argentina /Buenos Aires (2017) Consultation on Commercial Area Analysis using Big Data
Ukraine/Kyiv (2017) Conducting a Feasibility Study on Establishing a System for Formulation of Big Data-based Transportation Policies  
Data Center Argentina/Buenos Aires (2019) Assisting in Establishing a Master Plan on Building a Data Center of the City Government 
Capacity Building (2)  India/Panjim, Simla, Hubli (2016) Planning a Project on Smart Cities where Korea's Information and Communication Technologies are Applied 
Saudi Arabia/MERAAS (2018) Providing Training in Ways to Adopt Seoul's Smart City Model
Tax System (2) Indonesia /Bandung (2017) Consultation on Setting Up a Tax System
Sri Lanka/Colombo (2018) Consultation on Setting Up a Tax System 

Urban Railroad (22)


Railroad Planning •Policies Vietnam/Da Nang (2020-2021) Establishing a Master Plan on Urban Transportation
System Melioration (4) Bangladesh /Chittagong (2013-2016) Consultation on Improvement of Infrastructure for 11 Station Signals
Myanmar/Mandalay (2015) Providing External Expert Services regarding Mandalay-Myitkyina Railroad Repair/Renovation project
Myanmar/Yangon (2016~2017) Establishing a Basic Plan on Modernization of the Railway System and Conducting a Preliminary Feasibility Study
Myanmar/Mandalay(2017-2018) Mandalay-Myitkyina Railroad Repair/Renovation project: Conducting a Feasibility study on the Maw Han-Kadu section
Facility Design (3) Vietnam/ Ho Chi Minh City (2013-2015) Designing the Railway Line 1 
Bangladesh/Ministry of Railways (2018-2023) Purchasing and Producing Railcars (narrow gauge) in Bangladesh 
Myanmar/Mandalay (2018-2019) Managing Cable cars in Mandalay, Myanmar
Financing (3) Vietnam/Ho Chi Minh City (2015-2016) Consultation on Policies aimed at Improving Urban Railroads through Public-Private Partnership
Colombia/Colombia Development Bank (2016-2017) Devising Plans on Ways to Get Financing for Implementation of the Urban Transport Infrastructure project 
Indonesia/Jakarta (2017) Consultation on Policies on Light Rail Transit through Private-Public Partnership
Maintenance•Management (9) Philippines/Metropolitan Manila (2015-2017) Consultation on Management and Maintenance of Light Rail Transit Line 3
Vietnam/Ho Chi Minh City (2017) Consultation on Policies regarding  Maintenance and Management of the Metro 
Vietnam/Ho Chi Minh City (2017) Conducting a Preliminary Feasibility Study on Urban Railroad Line 4

Costa Rica/San José (2019)

Conducting a Preliminary Feasibility Study on the Fast Passenger Train project 
India/Delhi (2019-2021) Consultation on Techniques related to Management•Maintenance•Repair of the Delhi-Meerut Express Train 
Indonesia/Jakarta (2020-2022) Managing a project about Boosting the Capacity of Light Rail Transit 
Australia/Sydney (2020-2023) Consultation on Management of the Sydney Metro West line
Vietnam/Da Nang (2021-2022) Conducting a Preliminary Feasibility Study on Urban Railroad 
Bangladesh/Dhaka (2021-2022) Conducting a Prelimiary Feasibility Study on the PPP program about the Loop Line in Dhaka, Bangladesh and a Feasibility Study on Priority Routes
Capacity Building (2) Mongolia/Ulaanbaatar (2019) Running Capacity Building programs for the Staff of Ulaanbaatar Railway (UBTZ)
Mongolia/Ulaanbaatar (2021) Running Capacity Building programs for Enhancing Railway Safety

Urban Planning (9)

Urban Development-Technopolis
Vietnam/Da Nang (2014) Consultation on Formulating Strategies on Urban Planning (Hi-Tech Park)
Myanmar/Hantharwady •Yangon (2015-2017) Designing a Master Plan on Regional Development of the Outskirts of Hantharwady Airport and the Southwest Region of Yangon State
Kenya/Konza (2018-2019) Devising a Master Plan on Creation of a Digital Media City
Ukraine/Kyiv (2021-2023) Assisting in Creating a Smart City and a Traffic Control Centre
Uzbekistan/Tashkent (2021-2022)
Almaty/Kazakhstan (2021-2022)
Consultation on Smart Cities and Smart Transportation
Peru/Lima (2021-2022) Devising a Master Plan on Building a Smart City
Bulgaria/Kazanluk (2021-2022) Devising a Master Plan on Building a Smart City
Staff Capacity Building  Ethiopia/Addis Ababa (2016) Providing Staff Capacity Building programs targeting Civil Servants 
Publishing Casebooks  Six countries across Asia (2017)  Bringing Out Casebooks about projects on Tourism•Preservation of Cultural Heritage•Urban Regeneration aimed at Developing Tourism Products

Environment (5)

Stream Rehabilitation China/Hunan, Henan (2015) Consultation on a project concerning Stream Rehabilitation Planning in Dongjiang Lake, Qihe County
Energy Management  Philippines/Metropolitan Metropolitan Manila (2016-2017) Installing LED Streetlights using IoT (Internet of the Things)
Improvement of Landfill Sites Philippines/Metropolitan Metropolitan Manila (2018-2019) Conducting a Preliminary Study on Improvement of Uncontrolled Landfill Sites 
Addressing Climate Change (2)  Indonesia (2021) Introducing Measures intended to Supply Water in an Integrated Manner where Changing Climate Conditions are Considered (taking concept notes)
Indonesia (2021-2022)  Introducing Measures intended to Supply Water in an Integrated Manner where Changing Climate Conditions are Considered (conducting a preliminary feasibility study)

Firefighting (3)

Center for Fighting and Preventing Fire (3) Bangladesh/Bangladesh Fire Service & Civil Defence (2014) Consultation on Public Administration aimed at Capacity Building on Firefighting and Prevention
Bangladesh/Bangladesh Fire Service & Civil Defence (2017-2020) Managing a project concerning Establishment of a System for Fighting and Preventing Fire 
Vietnam/Fire Prevention, Fighting and Rescue Police Department (2017-2018) Assisting in Framing Policies designed to Modernize the Fire Department 

Housing (1)

Housing in General  Mongolia/Ulaanbaatar (2019) Conducting a Feasibility Study on a project concerning Provision of Public Housing