Ansan was developed as the first planned city in the Republic of Korea (also known as South Korea), modeled after Canberra, Australia. Shortly after, it was promoted to a city status in 1986. Ansan is South Korea’s largest entrepreneurial city, hosting more than 10,000 small and medium-sized companies. The Ansan Science Valley, much like America’s ‘Silicon Valley’, plays a leading role for the companies in the era of the fourth industrial revolution.

Being home to Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station, the world’s largest tidal power station of its kind, Ansan city is pioneering renewable energy policies while positioning itself as an environmentally friendly city and holding the highest urban green area ratio in South Korea, the most notable examples being Sihwa Lake, Daebudo Island and Ansan Marshy Park.

Population diversity

Above all, Ansan’s main defining feature and greatest pride is its cosmopolitan fabric. One of the most ethnically diverse cities the country, it is commonly dubbed as a ‘small global village.’ It hosts 94,704 foreigners from 118 countries, accounting for 13.0 % of its total population.

Respectful of foreigners’ human rights, cultural diversity and differences, Ansan city implements leading policies conductive to the harmonious coexistence between Koreans and newcomers. Ansan city led the process bringing to the foundation of the National Council of Multicultural Cities and established a cooperative system of local governments.

Since 2005, it has operated the first and highest level of administrative agencies for foreigners in South Korea and has implemented a one-stop administrative system. The central government of the Republic of Korea has designated it as a special multicultural village district, which systematically manages the provision of specialised services and runs dense residential areas.

For the first time in the Republic of Korea, Ansan city issued a decree promoting human rights for foreign residents. To fully implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, all childcare fees are freely provided to foreign children, being the only city in the country to adopt this measure.

Moreover, Ansan maintains fruitful relations with numerous foreign cities. Having successfully hosted numerous large-scale international conferences, Ansan is disseminating good practices on foreign policy to international cities and institutions, particularly through sisterhood agreements with 17 cities in 10 different countries.

The city joined Intercultural Cities programme in February 2020.

Intercultural Cities Index


Mingeun LEE