2016 – Park Won Soon

On the theme Sharing city 

In 2016 the award winner was Park Won Soon from South Korea.

Mr. Park Won Soon is a South Korean lawyer and since 2011 the Mayor of Seoul, capital of South Korea. With his leadership, Seoul has taken a global lead in developing ”a sharing city”. With his background as a human rights activist, Mr. Won Soon has also integrated social issues into his work. As a pioneer in this area, Seoul has developed various forms of effective sharing by changing regulations, mobilising the city’s underused resources and making information readily accessible. The city has also raised public awareness and supports companies and initiatives in the sharing of information and assets. Mr. Won Soon is a prominent figure in the process of creating better opportunities for sharing resources and information.

The jury's  motivation

Sharing economy has been flourishing around the world in recent years. We have seen how information technology has made possible smart platforms that allow material assets to be used more efficiently by sharing resources and services. This gives more people access to resources, while at the same time reducing consumption of natural resources.

Sharing resources makes it possible, for instance, to transport goods more efficiently and to make public transport a more efficient way for people to travel. New ways of collaborating through open networks, the possibility of grassroots funding for projects, the ability to share information or even get free access to education online, are opening up new opportunities for global development to more and more people.

With this year’s theme the jury wants to highlight the opportunities that sharing ownership and information offer for sustainable development.

The Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development goes this year to Park Won-Soon, Mayor of Seoul in South Korea, one of the world’s first sharing cities.

Park Won Soon attended the ceremony though a video link, and the Vice Mayor of Seoul accepted the award in his place.