GOOD

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is #20 on The 2014 GOOD City Index.

As one of the world’s largest urban areas, Seoul can feel both exciting and lonely. Rickety food stalls sit outside gleaming corporate headquarters while a new Seoul City Hall stands proudly over its colonial predecessor. In progressive steps this year, the city’s much-loved Mayor Park Won-soon became the first South Korean politician to publicly support same-sex marriage while the city sent an advance specialist team to West Africa to aid in the global effort against Ebola. In addition, Seoul marked its one-year anniversary of its “Sharing City” initiative, which aims to leverage the city’s population density to promote the sharing of resources. The past year has also seen the city more divided than usual due to the sinking of the Sewol ferry, which shook the city’s faith in its leaders. However, in a city long defined by conformity, the increasing willingness of Seoul’s residents to challenge their leaders bodes well for the future.

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