Posted : 2017-12-13 15:30
Updated : 2017-12-13 17:31

Seoul Mayor receives Medal of Paris

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, left, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo with Grand Vermeil medal/ Courtesy of Seoul Metropolitan Government

By Kim Se-jeong

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon received an award Tuesday from the city of Paris in the French capital for his work to improve relations between the two countries.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Park was awarded the Medal of the City of Paris, also known as "Grand Vermeil" by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Park was in Paris for a climate change summit marking the second year of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.

"This honor motivates me to do more for Seoul-Paris relations," Park said. "Mayor Hidalgo is an honorary citizen of Seoul and I am the Paris honor recipient. This means the two cities enjoy very special relations and I hope to diversify the field of cooperation between the two cities which will be exemplary of what city-to-city cooperation should look like."

The honor is awarded to exceptional cultural and sports figures and politicians, and Park became the first Korean recipient. Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal was honored with the same medal earlier this year. Previous recipients include President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, former Israeli President Shimon Peres and designer Karl Lagerfeld of the fashion house Chanel.

Currently, Seoul and Paris see their strongest cooperation on the environment.

During his European tour in March, Park stopped in Paris and announced an air pollution reduction cooperation plan with the mayors of Paris and London. In October, Hidalgo was in Seoul for a city summit hosted by Park on tackling climate change on the city level.

Within Korea, Seoul's environmental policies are on the cutting edge, with many cities trying to benchmark them.

"One Less Nuclear Power Plant" is his flagship policy aiming to reduce reliance on nuclear energy in the city's energy mix.
Park said he's also looking to expand the extent of cooperation with Paris in urban development and was briefed on "Reinvent Paris," an urban redevelopment project there.

"Reinvent Paris" was conceived to transform abandoned spaces in the city into support centers for the less privileged and parks.

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