The Korea Herald


World cities vie for LivCom Awards in Songpa

By Lee Woo-young

Published : Oct. 27, 2011 - 19:49

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The International Awards for Liveable Communities (LivCom), given to local communities to recognize the best management of environment, kicked off its five-day event at Lotte Hotel in the Seoul district of Songpa, Thursday.

It is the first time for Songpa to host the event in Korea since the award was launched in 1997 in partnership with the U.N. Environment Program.

About 80 countries selected from 330 applicants will compete for the award this year and share their environment practices with other cities during the conference which ends on Monday. The finalists for the award will reflect a wider geographic spread than in previous years, with Turkey, Mozambique, Vietnam and Malaysia participating for the first time.

The winning cities will be announced in three categories: whole city awards, bursary awards and project awards. Songpa, the host of the 15th awards, won the honor in 2009 and two other Korean cities, Changwon and Suncheon, received awards in 2010.

“LivCom Awards organizers believe a local community can change the way of life for residents across the country, and foster liveable communities. The 2011 event will be able to come up with many ideas and policy recommendations to make our neighborhood more environment-friendly,” said Alan Smith, the president of the event.

During the five-day conference, about 350 mayoral delegations will not only hear other cities’ practices but also see how Songpa has achieved in improving the living conditions for residents.

Songpa was one of the fastest developing districts in Seoul during 1970s and 1980s, but as a result of the rapid development, its streams and environment were sacrificed. But recent efforts to revive the streams and the Seokchon lake and restore the ancient Pungnap fortress have attracted attention from other cities.

“Songpa will further develop into a true green and global city by hosting the 2011 LivCom Awards,” said Park Choon-hee, head of Songpa Office, at the event on Thursday.

By Lee Woo-young  (