SEOUL -- Cities make up about two percent of our planet's surface, yet the number of urban dwellers accounts for more than half of the world's population. Such tremendous growth and density have presented its fair share of challenges, namely that cities are responsible for 70 to 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, much of which is due to buildings, cars and other urban environments.
For more than half a millennium, this narrow alleyway in the heart of Seoul stretched for several kilometers. Today, only a tiny stretch of Pimatgol remains, along with a wooden gate that leads into a half-block of modern storefronts. The fate of Pimatgol reflects the forward-looking trajectory of South Korea.
Committed to building a city that is safe from the threat of power crises, self-sufficient in energy and responsible for its energy use, we are exploring ways to generate energy in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. For example, we are installing mini-photovoltaic power stations on the rooftops of school buildings, apartments, and other structures, taking the maximum advantage of our high population and building density.
Korean people are friendly, and are generally welcoming to foreigners. Their society is derived from Confucian principles, which emphasize the importance of family and respect for others (specifically the elderly). These distinct customs create a bond of peace and trustworthiness among citizens and visitors.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's hyper-efficient capital doesn't immediately spring to mind when you think of exotic Asian destinations. But ...