In 2012, Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) launched the Sharing City Seoul program and enacted the Seoul Metropolitan Government Ordinance on the Promotion of Sharing as the legal foundation for this world-leading initiative. The purpose of the ordinance is to "maximize utilization of resources, recover communities and revitalize the regional economy" by promoting sharing. The ordinance defines sharing as "activities that create social, economic and environmental values by jointly using resources, such as space, goods, information, talent and experience."
The ordinance designates official sharing enterprises that address urban challenges and meet social, economic, or environmental criteria. It is the legal basis for SMG's support — through funding, promotion, and capacity building — of qualifying, local sharing startups and nonprofit organizations.
More specifically, the mayor of Seoul may designate an organization that intends to solve social problems through sharing as a "sharing organization" or "sharing enterprise" following deliberations by the Sharing Promotion Committee of the SMG. The mayor may also provide funds from SMG's Small and Medium Enterprises Fund, and allow a sharing organization or enterprise to use a public facility at a reduced fee where necessary to serve the public interest.