Happy City Sejong

Photo of the speaker

H.E. Dr. Choon-hee LEE
Mayor of Sejong

Good morning,
I am Choon-hee LEE, Mayor of Sejong City, Republic of Korea.

I would like to introduce the policies for urban regeneration and smart city that Sejong City is promoting.

Prior to my explanation on the relevant policies, I would like to introduce the background of Sejong Special Self-governing City construction first.

The Republic of Korea has achieved rapid and compressed economic growth in a short period of time but the national competitiveness has weakened at the same time due to the imbalanced development of land and the depression of the regional economy resulting from overpopulation in the metropolitan city areas.

In order to promote balanced national development and to strengthen national competitiveness, the construction of the administrative city started in 2007 and Sejong Special Self-governing City was launched in July, 2012.

Currently, 42 government agencies and 15 national research institutes which are responsible for two-thirds of the central government’s functions have been relocated to Sejong City. It means that Sejong City plays a role as a practical administrative capital city.

The population of Sejong City has increased more than 3 times to 310,000 compared with 100,000 in the launching stage. And it is expected to grow to 800,000 by 2030.

The urban form of Sejong City is a complex city combined with the “new town” under construction and the “old and rural area”.

Considering the urban characteristics of Sejong City, we have been promoting the “urban regeneration project” to vitalize the old downtown area and the “creation of smart city based on 4th industrial revolution” for the new town area.

Urban Regeneration Project

From now on, l will talk about the urban regeneration project.

To achieve balanced development between old and new areas, Sejong City have been promoting the urban regeneration project centered on Jochiwon which is old downtown area since October, 2014

The characteristic of Sejong City’s urban regeneration project is that the residents participate in the urban regeneration project from the planning stage, develop their own regional strengths and try to find problems and resolve solutions by themselves.

In particular, the proposed projects are realized through the formation of governance in which residents, experts and administration participate together.

A major example of governance is the University of Urban Regeneration

Residents of small groups by subject and region discuss with experts how to selfdiagnose areas, find advantages and develop its strengths and solve problems for eight weeks.

In the past, residents had demanded a full solution to the problem to municipal administration, but with the continuing operation of the University of Urban Regeneration starting in 2013, the awareness of residents changed greatly, saying, “Let’s solve the problem of our areas by ourselves.”

As a representative example of community engagement, first of all, there is alley maintenance case near the Jochiwon Post Office Building

It was a messy and disorderly place where the old main street was located, but merchants who participated in the 5th university of urban regeneration began cleaning the alleys every morning, planting flowers in alleys, and cleaning up their surroundings.

In doing so, the community was revived as a result of the merchant’s attachment to the village, and received “the Best Community’ and ranked first ‘Creating Safe Pedestrian Environment’ in a central government-run assessment last year.

The second example is that Sejong city’s ‘urban center project of old area’ is being pushed into the urban renewal New Deal project in collaboration with the central government.

It is a project where residents participate in the whole project process, such as discovering and proposing the project cooperation with public sector

Major projects include opening education programs and opening cafe operation, establishment of youth-creative housing connected to public corporations, and creation of a cultural complex by utilizing abandoned factories

This brings new capabilities to Sejong city and we expect the recovery of the local community and job creation.

The city is pushing for an old town revitalization project with an investment of 1.39 billion dollars by 2025. Once it is completed successfully, the old area will be a city’s new economic hub.

Many experts and officials of local governments have come to Sejong city to learn the know-how we have proceeded and achieved.

We will actively cooperate with other local governments to spread urban regeneration projects through our best examples.

Creating Smart City Project

Next, I will introduce the Smart City Creation Project of Sejong City.

Sejong City has been pushing the 5-1 living area to create smart city with the central government as a national pilot city project since this year.

The vision of Sejong Smart City is to establish a sustainable platform to enhance the happiness of citizens and provide creative opportunities.

In pilot cities, innovative technologies such as self-driving and smart energy related to the fourth industrial revolution will be applied.

We introduce self-driving unmanned bus and shared vehicle services, and an intelligent signal system is established for traffic congestion, detour and main roads.

Transportation methods will be arranged according to characteristics through user data, and bus routes and trucks will be adjusted flexibly according to every demanded hour. As a result, traffic congestion will be resolved accordingly.

Once energy production, storage and control facilities and systems are installed and IoT-based smart energy services are implemented in Campus, government offices and apartment complexes, citizens will be provided with real-time energy consumption information and will be able to share or trade the remaining energy.

Sejong city will be the center of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Based on blockchain technology, various data will be actively utilized and personal information will be managed safely.

In addition, we are creating a digital twin to solve urban problems.

The goal is to create a cyber Sejong City by 2022 by data on civic activities that occur in cities (population, social, commercial, transportation, environment, infrastructure, etc.) through the digital twin.

In the process of creating smart city, Sejong city was acquired the nation’s first international certification (IOS 22301) in the Ubiquitous city sector in October 2016, and April of this year, Sejong City was selected as one of the world’s five pilot cities for international smart city certification with Cambridge in the UK, Dubai, Moscow in Russia and Melbourne, Australia. We plan to get certification by November this year.

Sejong City is promoting the largest smart city project in Korea, investing a total of $140.3million by 2030.

In the future, the lives of citizens in smart city will be more convenient and more prosperous, and the success of pilot city will lead global smart city as a model for spreading to local and foreign governments.


So far, I have introduced the urban regeneration policy and the smart city creation project of Sejong City.

Every administrative city of all countries is making its efforts for the sustainable urban development.

Starting today, I hope we will be able to move towards efficient and better directions by sharing our experience and knowledge in spite that each country has different environment, background and technology level.