Sharing goods and services has been a growing global trend in recent years. The basic idea is that by sharing items such as cars, more people gain access and at the same time consumption of natural resources is reduced.
One of the frontrunners in this movement is Seoul. The South Korean capital declared itself a “Sharing City” in 2012, and since then, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has designated various organizations and businesses as “sharing,” providing 37 of them with administrative and financial support.
Sharing has proved popular. By the end of 2015 car-sharing companies had about 400,000 members, and some 850,000 car shares had taken place. Modu-Parking had shared 2,000 parking spots in seven districts in its parking-lot-sharing scheme, and Kiple, a company that shares children’s clothes, had shared about 8 million items of clothing.
As a result, Seoul has received international recognition, including the Metropolis Award, and more than 100 cities from all over the world have sent delegations to South Korea to learn about Seoul’s sharing policy. SMG estimates that Seoul residents have saved 12 billion won ($10.4 million) annually, that 1,280 jobs have been created and that CO2 emissions have been reduced by more than 30,000 tons.