Seoul Capital Area
Red: Seoul, Violet: Incheon, Green: Gyeonggi-do, Blue: other areas connected by rapid transit
|Country||South Korea |
|Major cities|| Seoul |
|• Capital area||11,704 km2 (4,519 sq mi)|
|• Percentage of South Korea's total population||~50%|
|GDP Nominal / PPP||US$895 billion / $1.16 trillion|
|GDP per capita (Nominal / PPP)||US$34,854 / $45,283 (2018)|
|HDI (2017)||0.930 |
|Seoul Capital Area|
The Seoul Capital Area (SCA), Sudogwon (Korean : 수도권; Hanja : 首都圈; RR : Sudogwon; MR : Sudokwŏn, [sudoɡwʌn] ) or Gyeonggi region (Korean: 경기 지방; Hanja: 京畿地方;RR: Gyeonggi Jibang;MR: Kyŏnggi Jibang) is the metropolitan area of Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi Province, located in north-west South Korea. Its population of 25 million (as of 2017) ranked as the fifth largest metropolitan area in the world. Its area is about 11,704 km2 (4,519 sq mi). It forms the cultural, commercial, financial, industrial, and residential center of South Korea. The largest city is Seoul, with a population of approximately 10 million people, followed by Incheon, with 3 million inhabitants.
The Capital Area occupies a plain in the Han River valley. It contains some of the most fertile land on the Korean peninsula, although relatively little of it is now used for agriculture. The Gimpo Plain, one of the country's larger expanses of level arable land, covers much of the area of the cities of Gimpo and Bucheon.
The Capital Area has been home to a Korean capital for around 2,000 years. Its central location and relatively gentle landscape have given it a central role in the country's affairs.
The first capital to be constructed in the region was that of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. The country's first capital was built in 19 BC and was named Wiryeseong. This is believed to have been constructed near the modern-day boundary of Seoul and Gwangju City. However, Baekje was unable to hold this territory, and surrendered the Han River valley to Goguryeo in the 5th century. The land was then taken over by Silla in the 6th century, at which point it came to play a critical role in helping Silla to establish ties with China.
After the fall of Silla, Taejo of Goryeo established the capital of his kingdom in Kaesŏng, now just north of the Demilitarized Zone. During the Mongol invasions of Korea in the 12th century, the seat of government briefly shifted to Ganghwa Island, now just south of the DMZ in Incheon metropolitan city, where the Mongol naval attacks were repelled for about a decade before the king voluntarily surrendered to stop the carnage the Mongols committed in the peninsula, in order to lure the king out.
After the fall of Goryeo Dynasty in 1392, the newly founded Joseon Dynasty had its capital (then called Hanseong or Hanyang), less than 100 km (62 mi) south of the old dynasty's capital, Kaesŏng. Hanyang was chosen to be the new capital for mountains surrounding it making it safe from enemies, and for the Han River, separating the north and south parts of the city that let the trade business flourish. During the new dynasty's rule, extensive road systems, administrative buildings, royal palaces, and new ports were built, quickly attracting wealth from all over the kingdom. During the Korean Empire period, Hanseong's public transportation was improved with the installation of streetcars and manually drawn trolleys similar to taxis. Horse carriage systems similar to the ones in Europe were also established.
Following the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910, Hanseong was renamed Keijo (Gyeongseong) and served as colonial Korea's capital. Upon Korea's liberation from Japan in 1945, the former colonial capital was renamed Seoul and became capital of South Korea.
In the Korean War (1950–1953), the Capital Area became the focus of battles so destructive that most of Seoul and the surrounding regions were eradicated. Seoul was especially hit hard, since it exchanged hands four times during the course of the war.
During the latter half of the 20th century, the Capital Area began to rapidly develop as South Korea's economic wealth expanded. Population expanded fourfold since the Korean War. In 2001, the new Incheon International Airport took over all international flights to Seoul.
Covering only about 12% of the country's area, the Seoul Capital Area is home to more than 48.2% of the national population, and is the world's fifth largest urban area. This percentage has risen steadily since the mid-20th century, and the trend is expected to continue. Currently more than half of the people who move from one region to another are moving to the capital area. By 2020, it is projected that more than 52% of South Korea's population will live within the area, or 26,310,000 people. However, the Seoul Capital Area reached 25,620,000 people by 2015, bringing the chance of reaching a population of 26.31 Million in less than 5 years.
In 2017, Seoul Capital Area's gross regional product was ₩870 trillion(US$770 billion), generating half of the country's total GDP.It is the fourth largest urban economy in the world after Tokyo, New York City and Los Angeles, and the region hosts headquarters of 59 Forbes Global 2000 companies. As the economy of Seoul Capital Area transformed to knowledge economy from the manufacturing-based economy of the 20th century, there are a number of high-tech business parks in Seoul Capital Area, such as Digital Media City and Pangyo Techno Valley.
The South Korean government is now implementing a plan to create several centers for economic activities in the Capital Area. According to the plan, for example, Seoul is a 'Northeast Asia's Financial and Business Hub', and southwestern coast, with Incheon and Suwon, is 'International logistics and High-tech Industrial Belt'.
The Seoul Capital Area is home to the most affluent and livable cities and apartments in Korea but there are significant discrepancies between cities and districts, particularly between those built in the older and newer generations. Newer areas with more modern and luxurious apartments and infrastructure are more expensive, along with proximity to Gangnam District, the commercial center of the region.
Various agencies have been set up to deal with the intergovernmental problems of the region. Proposals for consolidating some or all of the cities of the capital area into a handful of metropolitan cities have thus far not been implemented.
Development in the area is currently governed by the Capital Region Readjustment Planning Act (수도권정비계획법), first passed in 1982 and last revised in 1996.
The Seoul Capital Area is divided among the special city of Seoul, the metropolitan city of Incheon, and province of Gyeonggi-do. Seoul has 25 gu (local government wards), Incheon has 8 gu and 2 counties, and Gyeonggi-do has 27 cities and 4 counties as the subdivisions.
The 25 districts of Seoul.
The 8 districts and 2 counties of Incheon.
27 cities and 4 counties of Gyeonggi-do. Below are seven of the largest cities, sorted by their population size:
The 4 gu of Suwon (수원; 水原).
The 3 gu of Goyang (고양; 高陽).
The 3 gu of Yongin (용인; 龍仁).
The 3 gu of Seongnam (성남; 城南).
The 2 gu of Ansan (안산; 安山).
The 2 gu of Anyang (안양; 安養).
The cities of the capital area are tightly interconnected by road and rail. Many of the country's railroad lines, most notably the Gyeongbu Line, terminate in the region. In addition, rapid transit is provided by the Seoul Metropolitan Subway, which has lines that serve all districts of Seoul, as well as the city of Incheon and other surrounding cities within Gyeonggi Province.
The region is a nexus for travel by air and water. The country's two largest airports, Incheon International Airport and Gimpo International Airport, are in the metropolitan area. International and domestic ferries depart from Incheon's ferry terminals several times a day. Massive volumes of international freight pass through the container terminals of Incheon (primarily bound to and from China).
Seoul Ring Expressway (Expressway No. 100) connects satellite cities around Seoul: Ilsan, Toegyewon, Hanam, Pyeongchon, Songnae, Bundang, Pangyo and Gimpo.
Incheon, officially the Incheon Metropolitan City (인천광역시), is a city located in northwestern South Korea, bordering Seoul and Gyeonggi to the east. Inhabited since the Neolithic, Incheon was home to just 4,700 people when it became an international port in 1883. Today, about 3 million people live in the city, making it South Korea's third most-populous city after Seoul and Busan.
Korea's provinces have been the primary administrative division of Korea since the mid Goryeo dynasty in the early 11th century, and were preceded by provincial-level divisions dating back to Unified Silla, in the late 7th century.
The Seoul Metropolitan Subway is a metropolitan railway system consisting of 23 rapid transit, light metro, commuter rail and people mover lines located in northwest South Korea. The system serves most of the Seoul Metropolitan Area including the Incheon metropolis and satellite cities in Gyeonggi province. Some regional lines in the network stretch out to rural areas in northern Chungnam province and western Gangwon province, that lie over 100 km away from the capital, as well as Suwon.
Gimpo is a city in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. It borders Incheon, with which it shares the South Korean side of the Han River estuary, as well as Seoul and the lesser cities of Paju and Goyang. North Korea is across the Han River. The current mayor is Jeong Hayoung (정하영). The city's population of more than 300,000 is made up of more than 71,000 households.
Gyeonggi Province is the most populous province in South Korea. Its name, Gyeonggi, means "the area surrounding the capital". Thus Gyeonggi-do can be translated as "province surrounding Seoul". The provincial capital is Suwon. Seoul—South Korea's largest city and national capital—is in the heart of the province but has been separately administered as a provincial-level special city since 1946. Incheon—South Korea's third-largest city—is on the coast of the province and has been similarly administered as a provincial-level metropolitan city since 1981. The three jurisdictions are collectively referred to as Sudogwon and cover 11,730 km2 (4,530 sq mi), with a combined population of 25.5 million—amounting to over half of the entire population of South Korea.
During most of the Joseon Dynasty, Korea was divided into eight provinces. The eight provinces' boundaries remained unchanged for about 480 years from 1413 to 1895, and formed a geographic paradigm that is still reflected today in the Korean Peninsula's administrative divisions, dialects, and regional distinctions. The names of all eight provinces are still preserved today, in one form or another. These eight historical provinces form both North and South Korea, and are not to be confused with the current eight provinces that make up South Korea.
Suwon is the capital and largest metropolis of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea's most populous province which surrounds Seoul, the national capital. Suwon lies about 30 kilometres south of Seoul. It is traditionally known as "The City of Filial Piety". With a population close to 1.2 million, it is larger than Ulsan, although it is not governed as a metropolitan city.
Bucheon is a city in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. Bucheon is a satellite city of Seoul, 25 kilometres away. This city is located between Incheon and Seoul.
Seongnam is the second largest city in South Korea's Gyeonggi Province after Suwon and the 10th largest city in the country. Its population is approximately one million. Seongnam is a satellite city of Seoul. It is largely a residential city located immediately southeast of Seoul and belongs to the Seoul National Capital Area.
The history of Seoul can be traced back as far as 18 BC, although humans have occupied the area now known as Seoul since Paleolithic Age. It has been the capital of numerous kingdoms on the Korean Peninsula since it was established.
Hyundai Department Store, together with Lotte Department Store and Shinsegae, is one of the three major department store chains in South Korea. It has 15 locations and more than $6 billion in annual sales(in 2019).
Lotte Department Store is a Korean retail company established in 1979, and headquartered in Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Lotte Department Store offers retail consumer goods and services and is one out of 8 business units of Lotte Shopping. Other Lotte retail companies include discount store Lotte Mart and supermarket Lotte Super.
Seoul Buses are public transit buses operated by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and/or private bus operators.
The Seoul Ring Expressway is an expressway, circular beltway or ring road around Seoul, South Korea. It connects satellite cities around Seoul, Ilsan, Namyangju, Hanam, Pyeongchon, Jungdong, Bundang, Pangyo, Sanbon and Gimpo. The expressway runs 127.6 km. Seoul Ring Expressway is currently under construction to widen the expressway between Anhyeon Junction to Seongnam which is expected to be finished in 2016.
Gangseo District (Gangseo-gu) is one of the 25 wards (gu) of Seoul, South Korea. It is located on the south side of the Han River. Gimpo Airport is in Gonghang-dong, where many flights fly to cities like Busan, Jeju, and Gwangju.
Seoul's transportation boom dates back to the area of the Korean Empire, when the first streetcar lines were laid and a railroad linking Seoul and Incheon was completed. Today, as a result of the diversification of Seoul's transportation network, it has become a great transportation hub for Asia.
Bupyeong District (Bupyeong-gu) is one of the 10 administrative divisions that comprise Incheon, South Korea. Bupyeong-gu comprises an area of 12.35 square miles, and has a population of 508,587. It is located north of Namdong-gu, east of Seo-gu, and south of Gyeyang-gu. The city of Bucheon, in neighboring Gyeonggi Province, comprises its eastern limit.
Seoul, officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. With the surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province, Seoul forms the heart of the Seoul Capital Area. Ranked as an alpha world city, Seoul was the world's 4th largest metropolitan economy with a GDP of US$635 billion in 2014 after Tokyo, New York City and Los Angeles. International visitors generally reach Seoul via AREX from the Incheon International Airport, notable for having been rated the best airport for nine consecutive years (2005–2013) by the Airports Council International. In 2015, it was rated Asia's most livable city with the second highest quality of life globally by Arcadis, with the GDP per capita (PPP) in Seoul being around $40,000. In 2017, the cost of living in Seoul was ranked 6th globally. In 2018, Seoul's real estate market was ranked 5th in the world for the price of apartments in the downtown center. Seoul was one of the host cities for the official tournament of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan.
Siheung County, alternatively Shihŭng County was a county (gun) in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. This county was abolished in 1989 as its one town(읍) of Sorae and two townships(면) of Gunja and Suam became Siheung City at the same time. Today's Siheung City area did not belong to Siheung County before 1914. The area rather was part of old Incheon or Ansan.
Gyeongginam-do is a proposed the most populous province in South Korea that would span the contiguous area of Southern Gyeonggi Province. Its name, Gyeonggi means "the area surrounding capital". Thus Gyeonggi-do can be translated as "province surrounding Seoul". Southern Gyeonggi Province is the portion of the South Korean Gyeonggi Province south of the Han River and Bukhan River.