Suwon pursues people-centered governance and inclusive social development

Suwon City has become a more livable and safer place with people-centered governance and inclusive social development as the main driver.

The city has implemented policies to address entrenched marginalization, empower vulnerable populations, including women, children, the elderly and infirm, and ensure equal opportunities for them.

Suwon, the most populous city of the 31 cities in Gyeonggi Province, has pursued a people-centered approach and taken steps to become a more equal city.

In Suwon, every citizen can enjoy the benefits of local socio-economic developments and social welfare programs.

Suwon City’s quick and proactive response to the COVID-19 pandemic also demonstrates the local government’s ability to keep all citizens safe.

Revitalization of the local economy
One of the remarkable achievements of the city of Suwon is to have created jobs adapted to the characteristics and the situation of the city to generate a dynamic economy.

Suwon City won seven awards in the evaluation of the local job creation goal notice system between 2012 and 2019.

The city has sought to create an environment where every citizen can obtain stable employment through multi-faceted policies, including a public job creation project and a progressive, personalized program to help residents launch startups. More than 180 young people have found jobs through the local government program to support young people working abroad.

Suwon City has also made great efforts to revitalize local business areas, which had been in decline, by providing continuous assistance to traditional markets. The city has renovated the traditional markets of Motgol, Gumaetan, Minarigwang, Jeongja and Hwaseo.

Additionally, the Suwon Convention Center, which opened in the center of Gwanggyo New Town in 2019, clearly shows Mayor Yeom Tae-young’s firm intention to revitalize and develop the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences) industry. & Exhibitions) into a future engine of growth. of the local economy.

People-centred governance, inclusive social policy
Suwon City’s people-centered governance and inclusive social development enable vulnerable populations to lead safer and happier lives. The city has also reduced welfare blind spots through diverse and inclusive social policy programs for the disadvantaged.

Since 2018, the city of Suwon has independently implemented a social housing program that aims to rent houses to families with four or more children under the age of 19, free of charge, up to the age of 20.

The city has also collaborated with the Korea Land and Housing Corp. (LH) managed by the government and used rental houses purchased by LH to overcome budget constraints and run the housing support program in a stable manner.

While a total of 31 households benefited from the program between 2018 and 2021, the city of Suwon aims to provide 200 housing units for multi-child families by 2025.

In addition, Suwon City has implemented policies focusing on caring for women, children, youth, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

The city promoted the equal participation of vulnerable groups in public decision-making and policy-making and pursued the principles of justice and equity with regard to accessibility to social services and resources and the distribution benefits of socio-economic developments.

Suwon City ultimately aims to ensure the growth and safety of vulnerable populations.

Suwon was recognized as a child-friendly city by UNICEF in 2017. The city has joined the WHO Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities since 2016 and is committed to pursuing responsive urban development to older people, including transport, environment and policy projects and programs such as lifelong education.

Citizen safety first
The city of Suwon has given top priority to the safety of its citizens. For example, the city has shown outstanding performance in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The local government began operating temporary facilities to accommodate close contact with COVID-19 cases in February 2020 at the start of the pandemic, the first to do so in South Korea.

In March 2020, the city also introduced for the first time a system run by the local government to prevent any further transmission of international arrivals.

Suwon City has started providing a shuttle service between the airport and a temporary testing center for asymptomatic international arrivals. At the testing center, travelers are tested and stay there until the results are known.

Not only has it set an example for other cities to follow suit, but Suwon has also created a joint response system with neighboring local governments, including Osan, Hwaseong and Yongin in Gyeonggi Province.

The city of Suwon also released a white paper with the aim of sharing its experiences in responding to infectious diseases with future generations and other local governments.

The city has published and distributed the white paper titled “Ilseongrok” which contains the city’s overall management of infectious diseases from the start of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak until its end.

Suwon’s experience in handling the MERS outbreak in 2015 provided learning lessons for dealing with the COVID pandemic.

In particular, the city of Suwon played a pivotal role in passing a partial revision of the Infectious Disease Prevention and Management Act in 2020, which gives a local government the power to independently deploy tracers. contact. The revision was based on a policy proposal from Mayor Yeom.

Additionally, the city is also pushing for public safety policies. Some 12,400 closed-circuit security cameras are installed and operated throughout the city. CCTVs are monitored at Suwon City Hall’s Integrated Control Situation Room. Between 2014 and April 2021, CCTV footage helped arrest criminals in around 36,500 cases.

By Park Joung-kyu and Ji Da-gyum ([email protected]) ([email protected])

By Korea Herald ([email protected])

Joel C. Hicks