By encouraging the sharing of services, tools and products, Seoul Metropolitan Government reduces unnecessary resource purchases and waste while boosting local business through its Sharing City Seoul project.

The City of Seoul is making efficient use of its existing public and private resources by encouraging the sharing of everything from cars and parking spaces to children’s clothing and food. The city’s sharing services currently boast 116 tool lending libraries, 8,900 car sharing users, and 115 communal book shelves, just to name a few of the offerings. All these services and resources are easily navigated through digital platforms.

To encourage the sharing of products and services, in 2015 Seoul Metropolitan Government financially supported 57 sharing businesses, such as the car-sharing companies Green Car and Socar, with more than $4,200 per company to raise awareness of their services. The city will promote 300 businesses until 2018 as part of the ongoing project. The city itself is also actively participating in resource and information sharing by, for instance, allowing citizens to use 1,700 idle parking spaces in public or government-owned facilities and access 4,237 data sets.

Why you should care

With a population density five times that of New York City, Seoul is a resource-constrained city. The Sharing City Seoul project mitigates this challenge by promoting the shared use of both public and private resources, while at the same time boosting civic engagement and supporting local businesses.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

The economic savings of sharing parking spaces, opening public facilities and sharing cars in 2015 was nearly $42 million, according to the city government.

Sustainable Cities and Communities

Rolling out a city wide sharing platform can produce systemic shifts in behavior across a range of sectors, helping to make Seoul more resource-efficient, accessible and sustainable.

Responsible Consumption and Production

Encouraging the sharing economy through a centralized, public platform is a scalable way to reduce individual ownership of tools and assets, thus reducing consumption demand for more products.

Climate Action

Promoting car-sharing services, such as Na-Num Cars’ 1,922 on-demand vehicles, reduces the need for private vehicle ownership, which can help reduce urban CO2 emissions.