Korean delegation turns to Portland for green city expertise
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Mayor Sam Adams and Chairman Kisup Song from the Multifunctional Administrative City Construction Agency signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday to mark a partnership on sustainable city development.
A high-ranking delegation from the South Korean government was in Portland Thursday to sign a memorandum of understanding with Portland Mayor Sam Adams formalizing a partnership to work together on sustainable city development.
The Korean delegation is from the Multifunctional Administrative City Construction Agency, charged with building a new capital city 75 miles south of Seoul. The new city, Sejong, is aiming to be the greenest, most high tech and most desirable city in the world.
Or at least second in the world. Su-chang Cho, director of the agency's urban strategy division, joked with Mayor Adams that he'd be willing to concede first place to Portland.
Sejong, named for the 15th century Korean king who invented the country's alphabet, is being constructed to relieve overcrowding in Seoul and to promote more development in the central and southern parts of the Korean peninsula.
Thirty-six government agencies will move to Sejong from Seoul by 2014. The city, which has a population today of about 110,000, will grow to 500,000 people by 2030. The planned city will encircle an ample green space, will aim to get 15 percent of its power from renewable sources and have 70 percent of its commuters get to work by public transit, walking or biking.
The Korean agency approached Portland, along with Freiburg, Germany, for help with sustainable development. Under the memorandum of understanding the two governments agreed to work together on issues including reduction of carbon emissions, increase of renewable energy use, ecological protection, public transportation planning, encouragement of civic engagement and the promotion of green building.
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.