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Monday, December 19, 2011

Songpa has earned the Triple Crown of the environment

 2011, in Austria, Songpa received the National Energy Globe Awards. 
Songpa swept major environmental prizes, following the winning of the 2009 International Awards for Liveable Communities and the 2011 Globe Sustainable City Award.

Songpa (Mayor: Park Chun-hee) basked in the glory of winning the National Energy Globe Awards during the Energy Globe World Award ceremony in Wels, Austria on Friday, November 25, 2011.

The Energy Globe World Award is considered one of the most prestigious accreditations in the environmental field.
Since 1999, the Energy Globe World Award, launched by Wolfgang Neumann of Austria, has chosen significant sustainable achievements and been noted for its outstanding dedication to environmental responsibility and conservation.  The past three events were held in Belgium, the Czech Republic and Rwanda.  More than 800 programs from 105 countries participated in this year’s competition.

Left : Deputy Mayor Kim Chan-gon and Wolfgang Neumann, founder of the Energy Globe World Award
Right : Deputy Mayor Kim Chan-gon and laureate of the Energy Globe World Award

Made in the Regional, National and International categories, the Energy Globe World Award has the following judging criteria: sustainable and efficient aims; innovation considering technological standards and local circumstances; cost-benefit relations in terms of economic and social aspects; feasibility and replication potential; and compatibility with the needs of greenhouse gas emissions reduction and climate protection. 

Entering into the National category under the title 'Waterway Songpa,’ Songpa grabbed the National Energy Globe Awards.  Songpa restored waterways running through the district, connected the Han River, Seongnaecheon, Jangjicheon and Tancheon and built wildlife habitats, thereby establishing a harmonious place where humans and nature coexist.  Songpa also transformed the formerly dried-up Seongnaecheon into an ecological stream through a public-private partnership and reclaimed its waterfront as an open and inviting space by arranging paddling pools, bike paths, solar street lamps and experiential facilities for renewable energy.  The sustainable and creative initiatives and practices that Songpa implemented drew acclaim from the jury.

Songpa has made a grand slam in the environmental sector over the last two years and recently hosted the 2011 LivCom Awards. 
Selected as one of the world’s top eco-cities by three influential associations, Songpa accomplished a monumental work, including the LivCom Awards, dubbed the Green Oscars, in 2009, and the Globe Sustainable City Award, organized by the Globe Forum, in 2011.  The 2011 LivCom Awards took place in Songpa in October of this year.

How come Songpa, which had been surrounded by concrete buildings in the 1980s, has developed into a green city? 
Songpa now attracts the highest accolades worldwide as a livable, sustainable and environmentally-friendly community; however, Songpa was originally a quiet farming village until the 1970s and became a big gray city in the 1980s.  What has made this change possible?

A wealth of natural treasures that Songpa preserves facilitated the utilization of water resources and the formation of Olympic Park, Seokchon Lake Park and Bangi Wetland.

Songpa integrates the concept of welfare and technology into environmental values.  For 15 years, Songpa Sharing Power Plant has offered 25% of profits to 6,000 low-income households as well as poor countries.  The progress of IT and ET serves as a boost for the Cycling campaign.  Thirty hybrid bicycles using sunlight and generators are loaned out free of charge.  The RFID and GPS-equipped bicycles allow understanding biking time and distance, monitoring greenhouse gas emissions and calculating CO2 savings.

Songpa also shares the aspiration to create comfortable living conditions with its people.  Numerous residents donated cherry blossom trees to enrich the surroundings of Seongnaecheon.  The Songpa Green Committee, the first example of private and public combined municipal governance, is in activity.  Solitutbat is a citizen-operated farm that helps arouse and spread environmental awareness.

Green policies will further brighten the tomorrow of Songpa. 
Park Chun-hee, the 5th popularly elected mayor of Songpa, on Songpa Citizen’s Day in September 2011, revealed its blueprints for future directions.  One of the three strategic plans is green management.  The ‘4G’ principles for prosperity in Songpa contain two environmental points of view: green and growing.

“The citizens’ devotion and cooperation brought triple honors to Songpa.  We will not be too proud of these outcomes and continue to make Songpa the best eco-friendly city through different types of effective ideas”, said Mayor Park.

Inquiries: 02-2147-2420; Planning & Budget Division

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