Mayor Park Wan-su, Changwon City, South Korea

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Testimonials for
Park Wan-su
Mayor of Changwon City (South Korea)

The winner and runner-ups of World Mayor 2012 will be chosen based on the number of nominations in relation to the size of their cities and, more importantly, on the persuasiveness and conviction of testimonials received during this year's World Mayor Project. Below we publish a selection of comments received to date about WM nominee Park Wan-su, Mayor of Changwon City, South Korea. Mayor Park has signed up to the City Mayors Code of Ethics.

Comment: I am living in Changwon and I appreciate this opportunity to recommend Mayor Park of Changwon City to you. I lived in the outskirts of Changwon before I moved into the city. When I first moved here, I had a difficult time getting accustomed to my life in this city as the environment wasn't as good as it is now. The air pollution was severe and streams were so polluted that I couldn't spend time with my kids here like I could in other areas. But Changwon has been greatly changed in relation to the environment since Mayor Park took office. He announced that he would restore polluted streams and recreational areas to an ecologically healthy state and he made good on this promise. (By CBs, Changwon City)

Comment: Mayor Park often says, "Nothing great in this world was achieved without any enthusiasm." and asks all the members to do anything with passion. (By J h J, Changwon)

Comment: I am a representative of a Yongho city community and attend a meeting with the high-level staffs of Changwon city twice a week. Over meetings, I got to know the service of CHANGWON has been improved greatly. I believe this is because of mayor Park. (By D P, Changwon)

Comment: The essence of leadership is character. Since he succeed overcoming adversities such as not being able to go to a good high school due to poverty, he knows and understands people who are in difficulties and he does sincerely work for them. It is easy for a person who is in the position such as mayor to know which side of one's bread is buttered, but Mr. Park has never been so. Money is important, but it is not all that people need. For Mayor Park, it seemed to be important to provide opportunities for the elderly to have things to do instead of killing time at the senior citizens' center. In addition, he constructed the Welfare Town for the Disabled for the first time in Korea to help them with their rehabilitation. He also shows deep concern towards women who are socially threatened, so growing Changwon into a women-friendly city would have started from his considerate character. He is trying hard to make this welfare policy -3 Mu, 4 Gang- work spending spend 3,000 billion, which is the 15% of the total budget of Changwon, by 2014. This welfare policy is expected to make Changwon a city which everybody can be happy living in, 3 Mu indicating no person who cannot eat, who does not have a house, who cannot go to school, and 4 Gang signifying modified policies on the elderly, the disabled, women, education, and medical treatment. Mr. Park's nature that concerns for the better lives of its ordinary people is the hope of Changwon city. (By L G H, Changwon City)

Comment: Mayor Park is valuated not only as an administrative but also as a passionate entrepreneur-like CEO. He always emphasizes "passion" when he has a talk with his employees and at the executive meeting. So that's why I like him. (By Mun-suk, Changwon)

Comment: Since Mr Park became mayor of Changwon, the city has been named best welfare city, best environmentally-friendly city, city with the best industrial policy, in addition to being named 'the best city to live in Korea'. (By Dan D, Changwon)

Comment: Park Wansoo, Mayor of Changwon-si is a Experienced Navigator. In order to sail the vast ocean, it is crucial to have experienced navigator who can tell the direction of the winds and the scale of wind waves depending on the sea area and the season because this one experienced navigator can save many people lives with the right decision. It goes the same with the decision of a mayor since his one wrong decision can cause the decline of a city. Mayor Park is evaluated as a self-made man who overcame his difficult environment. Due to poverty, he could not go to an academic high school and, instead, he graduated a technical high school. After the graduation, he was employed at a company, which gave him the valuable experience of a city worker. Since he passed the Public Administration Examination still working in the daytime and by studying at nighttime, he has worked as a governor in Hapcheon, a director of agricultural administration and a business agency in Kyeongnam district, a deputy mayor of Kimhae, and all these work earned him a reputation of a competent administrative. While he was shortly away from his work as a government administrative, he worked as a professor of a graduate school of public administration acquiring experiences in many different fields. Thanks to his experience as a mayor of Changwon three times in a row, it was possible to make Changwon a salubrious spot in the world for the first time in Korea with cooperation and adjustment even though there existed conflicts between the regions. (By K Bo Young, Changwon)

Comment: I am a local official and work in Environment. So I have seen Wan-su Park, Changwon city mayor, for a long time. Enlarging the City's Green Lands, Forest Changwon, which is the first planned city formed in urban design techniques, does have a pleasant urban space, but it is short of green lands just like other majority of Asian cities. The air is frowsty due to automobile exhaust emissions and the smoke from Changwon Industrial Complex, and people usually are too busy to relax. In order to solve this problem, Changwon create an arboretum in the heart of the city, and promoted the project of planting 10 million trees in it to expand green forest. On the main street, trees formed the median strips and water was purified at 12 factories. Changwon has been the representative city of green land in Korea as a result of planting trees and bushes that symbolize Changwon, and now people come to think of streets and trees in Changwon when they hit the phrase, 'green city'. (By Kim, Changwon)

Comment: Whenever I meet Mayor Park I can see how much he loves ChangWon. He doesn't seem to seek fame and popularity, but instead, the fame and popularity find him as he works earnestly from the bottom of his heart. (By S Hoo, Changwon)

Comment: Since he took office in 2004, he has introduced the 'We love our companies' campaign to support companies in ChangWon. This campaign and various supprot programs are attracting many officials from the central government to benchmark them. (By M Sung, Changwon)

Comment: Mayor Park of ChangWon city is my role model. His strong willingness to get over his difficult upbringing is very impressive and encoruaging. (By M j Lee, Changwon)

Comment: He has turned his eyes to building the 'Gyeongnam Techno Park' which aims at developing the high-tech field and builing a high-tech industrial complex to attract foreign multinational companies. (By N Park, Changwon)

Comment: Mayor Park Wan su is so creative that he has proposed lots of ideas to improve urban living. HIs 2 key-word are 'We love our companise'campaign and 'Creating an Environmental capital. (By S Jae, Changwon)

Comment: Starting with 2008 Ramsar General Meeting, Changwon-si made a new leap forward to becoming world environment center city by holding important international environment events such as UNEP Climate Change Adaptation Network Development Meeting/ IPCC International Climate Expert Meeting in 2011/ Conference of the Parties of UN Convention to Combat Desertification. (By S H Lim, Changwon)

Comment: A person who puts his or her own beliefs and principles into practice is the driving force for change in our society. Chief Park is changing this society with his extraordinary philosophy and beliefs in administration. He believes that the most important thing for establishing a better society is to establish basic foundation.
so that' why. (By J D Jae, Changwon)

Comment: The biggest obstacle for citizens, who basically used automobiles, to use public transportation was its lack of comfort. This problem was solved by shortening running intervals of public vehicles, improving intra-city bus route systems by focusing on main and local line roads. (By Mr Ha, Changwon)

Comment: The true leader is the one who meticulously takes care of citizens' lives like a household manager and quietly implements his duties; said Wansoo Park, Mayor of Changwon city about the position of a mayor. (By K h suk, Changwon)

Comment: Many would wonder what would be the secret of Changwon that enabled this small town in Korea, which uses a language? other than English, to hold big events such as Ramsar Convention, UN Convention to Combat Desertification, IAEC World Congress, and the World Shooting Championship in 2018. The answer to the question would be the excellent administration of Mayor Park focusing on the global market. (By K y ae, Changwon)

Comment: Changwon is known as a "Special city of Bike" in Korea. When it comes to Changwon, you can have a special morning scene that you would never found in other cities of Korea. Mr Park Wan-su, he did. (By M Jeong, Changwon)

Comment: Mayor Park is a courageous leader. He doesn't avoid difficult tasks. His style is to face and find solutions to tasks the more difficult they are. (By B sun, Changwon)

Comment: The various policy items of "Environmental Capital Changwon Project" promoted by Chief Park, the mayor of Changwon-si, is focused on the world's environment in 2020, and I look forward to how Changwon-si in 2020 might look like in 2020. (By Miss Yu, Changwon)

Comment: Based on my experience, I think that he is very hard working, and I believe that he is a person who can see what others cannot see and who does not draw boundaries ahead. He has presented new ideas about the real problems and intellectual skills not trapped in the framework which suggest that local governments cannot do anything without the support of the central government. It was almost close to impossible for Changwon-si, which is a local organization, to attract world-class large-scale events without the help of the central government. With its exceptional global marketing ability, however, Changwon-si hold IAEC World Congress in 2012, and World Shooting Championships in 2018 and it brought up "Can do" spirit to the citizens of Changwon-si. Therefore, I recommend Park who is expected to further enhance confidence of its citizens. (By Yeri, South Korea)

Comment: Park Wan Soo was selected as one of the 100 Influential figures in the world according to the 'Scenario 2012', which will be published in June officially sponsored by UN Conference on Environment and Development (Rio +20). It proves that the World Summit (Rio +20) held the other side of the globe is not only interested in the Environmentally-friendly City Project of Changwon but also influenced by the project, which suggests that the world recognizes its value. In order to make Changwon a sustainable city in the future, Mr. Park declared "Environmentally-friendly City, Changwon" in November, 2006. No one considered it was possible to bring a change to the major industrial city to turn it into a environmentally-friendly city then, but it was possible with an effort to construct infrastructures for the environment, and by improving on the unreasonable systems with the permission from the central government. This also influenced its citizens to have caring heart towa
rds the environment, and this is dissolved in their daily lives. Especially 24 hours unattended bicycle rental system, 'nubija' is attracting attention recognized by the world as the next-generation green transportation. These environmental policies of Changwon were presented at Jeju UCLG World Congress in 2008, and have gained attention of the world.
Changwon also held several large-scale international events including Ramsar Convention, UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the World Federation of ecological transportation Changwon Convention and the World Bike Festival, and IPCC Climate Change international conferences. I recommend Mr. Park who brought this change, since I feel proud to see an unanimous local city, Changwon develop into a model city of the world. (By J J H, Changwon, City)

Comment: Changwon has turned into one of the most attractive cities in the world since Mr Park's appointment. In the past, under the system of competition among nations, government lead city plan acted as a main factor of estimating success. However, now we've entered into a new era of infinite competition between city and city, city and nation, and nation and nation in which competitiveness of a city means competitiveness of a nation. A city competitiveness that enables proud competition with global cities can be summarized into keywords of Environment and Globalization. Changwon city has realized that without environmental mind, there would be no global city. Therefore we've visited environmentally successful global cities like Freiburg, Germany and Curitiba, Brazil, watched the scene for ourselves, listened to the difficulties that rise while promoting the policy, developed and enforced city policy that coincides with conditions of Changwon city. (By Jo Han-yong, Changwon)

Comment: I want to recommend Mr Park, Mayor of Changwon City for the World Mayor Prize. Changwon has been the representative city of green land in Korea. Because Eco-environment policy of Changwon City is well-known in korea. Changwon City declared to be the " Environmental capital" for the first time in Korea. So Changwon promoted the project of planting 10 million trees in it to expand green forest. So we can see trees, flowers and bushes all over the city. (By BJK, South Korea)

Comment: Although the administrative capital of the Republic of Korea is Seoul, Changwon will also be the world's environmental capital in 2020. In other words, Changwon will be recognized as environmentally sustainable city in the world. Changwon-si declared to be the "environmental capital" for the first time in Korea, and it established eight key tasks including ecological rivers, built green networks, sustainable energy supply on November 2, 2006. As a result, it could be recognized as the world's environmental model city by holding the Environmental Olympics in 2008, called the Ramsar Convention, was selected to be the world livable city by UNEP in 2010, and again hold UN Convention to Combat Desertification in 2011. The various policy items of "Environmental Capital Changwon Project" promoted by Chief Park, the mayor of Changwon-si, is focused on the world's environment in 2020, and I look forward to how Changwon-si in 2020 might look like in 2020. (By Kim H, Changwon City)

Comment: Mr. Park mergered 3 cities successfully. He seems to know how to handle government officials. (By S K, South Korea)

Comment: It is my great pleasure to recommend Mayor Park and I think he should be recognized as the most outstanding mayor in Korea. Changwon City, managed by Mayor Park who values creativity, is active and full of creativity operating the organization centered around tasks. One example a professional baseball team called „NC Dinos was founded in Changwon city last year. Mayor Park remodeled existing baseball field and constructed a new one through Resolution about attracting new baseball team. Mayor Park's strong will to establish a professional baseball team was followed by participation of a leading domestic game company NC SOFT, which led to foundation of NC Dinos, the local professional baseball team of Changwon. (By KHL, Changwon City)

Comment: It has been nine years since Mr. Park was elected as the mayor of Changwon City. He was elected as the 19th mayor in 2004 and he has led Changwon as a mayor for three times in a row. He knows best what to do for advance of Changwon City. He brought back clean air and water to its citizens through the projects such as "Bicycle Special City" and fostering ecological waterways by viewing the city from the ecological perspective. With the announcement of "Environmentally-friendly City, Changwon", Changwon has become worldly known environmentally friendly city in the short period of five years and six months. He is probably one of the most deserving people to ever have received this honor (By KJH, Changwon City)

Comment: I am Lee Jin Hwa and I've been living in Changwon city for almost 35 years. The outskirts of the Dong-eup(a township where I live) area have not been developed as much as the downtown areas, so it is quite often that residents living in Dong-eup appeal to the city government. Mayor Park has not let the people of Dong-eup down. He and the city administration is showing interest in outskirt areas like Dong-eup. This isn't just a token gesture to gain popularity; he really thinks about the issues. The real reason for me to recommend Mayor Park for this award is his approach to important issues. He looks at all aspects and possibilities of any recommendation. He approached the issue of developing outskirt areas with a different point of view and this has resulted in development of the Dong-eup area with great benefits for residents without destroying any existing virtues. We are happy with his decision to develop the Dong-eup area, culturally significant city and I be
lieve this is a real benefit for the residents of the Dong-eup area. I would like to recommend Mayor Park for this award, a mayor who makes the best and most reasonable choices for each issue. (By L J H, Changwon City)

World Mayor

The City Mayors Foundation, the international think tank for local government, organises the World Mayor Project and awards the World Mayor Prize. The Prize, which has been given since 2004, honours mayors with the vision, passion and skills to make their cities incredible places to live in, work in and visit. The World Mayor Project aims to show what outstanding mayors can achieve and raise their profiles nationally and internationally.

The organisers of the World Mayor Project are looking for city leaders who excel in qualities like: honesty, leadership and vision, management abilities and integrity, social and economic awareness, ability to provide security and to protect the environment as well as the will and ability to foster good relations between communities from different cultural, racial and social backgrounds. The winner receives the artistically acclaimed World Mayor trophy, while the two runner-ups are given the World Mayor Commendation.

Mayors wishing to be considered for the World Mayor Prize will be asked to sign up to the City Mayors' Code of Ethics

Nominations were accepted until the 17 May 2012. A shortlist of 25 nominees was published on 18 June. Voting took place until 20 October . The winner of the 2012 World Mayor Prize and other results of the World Mayor Project were announced on 8 January 2013.

Winners and runners-up
2004 to 2012

In 2004: Winner: Edi Rama (Tirana, Albania); Runner-up: Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Mexico City, Mexico); In third place: Walter Veltroni (Rome, Italy)
In 2005: Winner: Dora Bakoyannis (Athens, Greece); Runner-up: Hazel McCallion (Mississauga, Canada); In third place: Alvaro Arzú (Guatemala City, Guatemala)
In 2006: Winner: John So (Melbourne, Australia); Runner up: Job Cohen (Amsterdam, Netherland); In third place: Stephen Reed (Harrisburg, USA)
In 2008: Winner: Helen Zille (Cape Town, South Africa); Runner up: Elmar Ledergerber (Zurich, Switzerland); In third place: Leopoldo López (Chacao, Venezuela)
In 2010: Winner: Marcelo Ebrard (Mexico City, Mexico); Runner-up: Mick Cornett (Oklahoma City, USA); In third place: Domenico Lucano (Riace, Italy)
In 2012: Winner:
Iñaki Azkuna (Bilbao, Spain); Runner-up: Lisa Scaffidi (Perth, Australia); In third place: Joko Widodo (Surakarta, Indonesia)