Seoul becomes a sharing city | Knowledge Hub | Circle Economy Foundation

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Policy case
Seoul becomes a sharing city

The city of Seoul has focused its circular efforts on the sharing economy, promoted with the Seoul Sharing City project, for which it is particularly well-equipped due to good internet infrastructure and a cultural tradition of sharing in Korea.

The project has also promoted sharing operations financially, by the creation of a central data platform centred around sharing, and through legal support such as the provision of special parking spaces for car-sharing.

As a result, the use of sharing services across Seoul has greatly increased, and the city has become a leader on the sharing economy that is at the centre of a new international network.


Seoul is particularly well equipped for a widespread sharing model, as the city has a very good internet infrastructure that enables modern, digital-based product sharing services.

At the same time, Korea has a cultural tradition of sharing and borrowing, but this has been getting less common with modern times.

A lack of awareness for circularity and alternative models based around sharing inhibit a widespread revival of this tradition.


In order to modernise the sharing tradition of Korea, the municipal government of Seoul has set up an online hub to centrally store information and best practices about the sharing economy, and to connect various initiatives. It has also set up a central channel to bring proposals to increase sharing to the municipal government.

In order to raise awareness, multiple workshops and an exhibition with industry stakeholders as well as citizens have been held.

Additionally, in order to provide support to new sharing economy businesses, over one million Euro has been invested by the municipal government.


Public support for a car-sharing scheme, including the provision of special parking spaces, has led to a tripling of users between 2014 and 2018.

As a highly visible and popular project, the Seoul Bike Sharing Program now has over 11,000 daily users that use shared bicycles to move around the city.

Platforms to share children's clothes and toys, public spaces, and housing space between young people and elderly citizens have similarly been established.

A public data collection allows for easier creation of new initiatives, and Seoul has been a founding member of an alliance of sharing cities.

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Photo by Clark Gu on Unsplash

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