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This article was adapted from our latest book, "Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons." Download your free pdf copy today.

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.

View the full policy here.

Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons

Header image provided by Emile-Victor Portenart on Unsplash

Darren Sharp


Darren Sharp |

Darren Sharp is a leading sharing economy strategist, consultant and researcher.  As founding Director of Social Surplus he develops strategy and facilitates capacity-building using strength-based approaches including asset-based community