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  • Seoul.


  • It's an economic powerhouse, and renowned for its food, culture, and NewJeans.

    它是一個經濟強國,以美食、文化和 NewJeans 而聞名。

  • But we're not here to talk about Seoul, we're here to talk about Sejong City: the new guy replacing Seoul as South Korea's administrative capital.


  • Like Seoul, Sejong has an economy, and I'm sure at least some of their jeans are new.


  • But if you've never heard of it before, it's probably because it was just a bunch of peach farms until the South Korean government whipped it up into a capital city about a decade ago.


  • But how did they do that? And why?


  • Our journey begins on the presidential campaign trail in 2002.

    我們的旅程從 2002 年的總統競選開始。

  • At this point, things have been going pretty well in South Korea for a while: they've hosted the Olympics, they got into the UN, and the GDP's as high as it's ever been.


  • And as such, people are starting to think less about making the country richer, and more about making sure everyone gets a slice of the national money pie.


  • Because, the money pie is very much in Seoul.


  • The Seoul Capital Areacomprising the city itself, plus Incheon and the Gyeonggi Provincehas just under half of the whole country's population on under 12% of its land, and the income gap between there and everywhere else is widening.

    首爾首都地區——包括城市本身,加上仁川和京畿道——在其不到 12% 的土地上擁有全國近一半的人口,而且該地區與其他地區之間的收入差距正在擴大。

  • So out on the campaign trail, candidate Roh Moo-hyun floats a big idea: take a bunch of the people and jobs in Seoul, and push them somewhere else.


  • Because, come on, Seoul has enough going on without the government kicking around.


  • Sharing is caring, right?


  • So when Roh gets elected, he sets his big move-the-government plan in motion.


  • But not everyone's into it.


  • It'll disrupt a lot of people's lives, plus there are certain operational conveniences that come from having the country's financial, cultural, and administrative capitals in the same place.


  • One not-into-it party, namely the oppositional Grand National Party, filed a complaint with the Korean Constitutional Court,


  • which ruled in 2004 that Seoul's capital status was so universally understood that it was part of the "unwritten and customary constitution."

    2004 年,該委員會裁定首爾的首都地位已被普遍理解,以至於它成為「不成文的習慣憲法」的一部分。

  • And sure, an "unwritten and customary constitution" is, by definition, nothing, but turns out robe guys can say whatever.


  • So now the government has three options: get a written Constitutional amendment passed to call Sejong the capital, ditch Sejong entirely, or adjust their plans a bit.


  • So, they did the last one.


  • Under the new plan, Sejong would be the administrative capital, home to most of the government's ministries, while leaving a few back in Seoul, along with the presidential residence and the legislature.


  • Roh's term ended in 2008, and South Korea got a new president, who happened to have been Seoul's mayor and very anti-Sejong.

    盧武鉉的任期於 2008 年結束,韓國迎來了一位新總統,而這位總統恰好曾任首爾市長,非常反世宗市。

  • He briefly tried to rally people around sending companies like Samsung to Sejong instead of the government,


  • but that was even less popular, so they kept going with the revised plan from Roh's administration, and work began in earnest in 2011.


  • The site chosen for Sejong was here, a rural spot in the central Chungcheong Province, conveniently located between Seoul, Busan, and Gwangju.


  • Before it got extreme home makeovered, it was called Yeongi and was home to just eighty thousand peopleabout as many as Parma, Ohio.

    在對房屋進行徹底改造之前,它被稱為 Yeongi,人口只有八萬人,大約與俄亥俄州帕爾馬的人口一樣多。

  • And if you're not familiar with Parma, Ohioexactly.


  • To develop Sejong, they flattened out the hills, laid down a grid system for the streets, stood up some shiny high-rise apartments, and built the office building that would draw everyone there:


  • the Government Complex Sejong, a roughly two-mile or 3.2-kilometer-long building snake covering more acreage than Disneyland.

    世宗政府綜合大樓是一座大約兩英里或 3.2 公里長的蛇形建築,佔地面積比迪士尼樂園還多。

  • By the time the government started moving ministries there in 2012, the new city had restaurants, schools, and a grocery store,

    當政府於 2012 年開始將各部會遷往那裡時,新城市已經有了餐廳、學校和雜貨店,

  • as well as high-tech amenities like automatic trash collection, zero-waste food disposal, EV charging, CCTV security, and more.


  • And if that makes you think "Wow, they thought of everything!"


  • Well, not quite.


  • Because young Sejong was missing some stuff people like, such as a movie theater, and a museum, and a hospital.


  • The transit system was also pretty badthe nearest high speed rail station is a 25 minute drive away, and Sejong City doesn't have its own subway or tram.

    交通系統也很糟糕,最近的高鐵站也要 25 分鐘的車程,且世宗市沒有自己的地鐵或有軌電車。

  • It does have bus rapid transit, but it's not greatthe routes have never been good enough, nor the buses frequent enough, to meaningfully pull people away from cars.


  • Which is just baffling to me, because as far as I'm concerned, the whole point of building a city from scratch is the electric thrill of throwing down train lines willy-nilly before anyone stops you.


  • Today, Sejong's bus system only provides seven percent of the city's transportation, less than half the average for a metropolitan city in South Korea.

    如今,世宗市的公車系統僅提供該市交通的 7%,不到韓國大都市平均的一半。

  • So that's not great.


  • As the government moved itself to Sejong, it didn't exactly siphon population away from Seoul the way they'd hoped.


  • In fact, many workers just commuted there from Seoul, even though a weekday rush hour commute from, let's say, the presidential residence in Seoul to the Government Complex Sejong takes over two hours.


  • But to many government workers, it's worth it to stay in Seoul rather than move somewhere that's kind of, well


  • Seoul-less.

    沒靈魂的地方(沒有首爾的地方)。(靈魂 soul 跟 Seoul 諧音)

  • In fact, as Sejong's grown, it's pulled a lot of its population from around its own province, rather than from Seoul itself.


  • Think about it this way: if your banger house party's getting a little crowded and running out of snacks, you don't just start a second, worse party at another house in hopes people will leave.


  • You order a pizza, open up some bedrooms, and move the furniture to make space.


  • Because the truth is, nobody wants to leave a good partythey just hope other people will.


  • And look, it's not a perfect metaphor for the Seoul/Sejong situation, but in fairness, I don't get invited to a lot of parties, and in both the party situation and the city one, the solution is more housing.


  • But despite all the controversies and bad-vibes accusations, South Korea is still moving forward on making Sejong their administrative capital, and it's not even going that badly.


  • They've opened up libraries, a stadium, a nice park, and more shopping.


  • In 2020, they hit their two hundred thousand-person population target, and are heading towards a goal of five hundred thousand by 2030.

    2020 年,他們實現了 20 萬人口的目標,並正朝著到 2030 年達到 50 萬的目標。

  • It's also made itself a great place to raise kids, with daycare centers in each apartment complex, cash rewards worth over a thousand dollars for each kid you have, and highly subsidized caregiver support for new parents.


  • And they're making the bus free, so that's nice.


  • In all, Sejong is walking in the footsteps of other purpose-built capital cities before it:


  • joining Canberra, Australia and Brasilia, Brazil on the list of "places where the most interesting thing about them is that they're the capital instead of somewhere more interesting."


  • Well that, in the fact that it was built to move people away from Seoul, and yet both cities have added tons of people since this whole twenty billion dollar project started.

    嗯,事實上,它的建造是為了將人們從首爾轉移出去,但自從這個價值 200 億美元的項目開始以來,這兩個城市都增加了大量的人口。

  • Oh well! The daycare thing is cool!

    那好吧! 托兒所的事情很酷!



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