By Editor Editor Kim Hyung-dae with Reporter Paul Kim
Mayor Hong Sun-heon of the Haeundae District of the Busan Metropolitan City said, “We are hosting in our Haeundae District in Busan the “2021 Haeundae Sprint Triathlon World Cup Championship’ meeting for four consecutive days on July 1-4, 2021.”
Speaking at recent interview with The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language since 1985, Mayor Hong said, “This is the first such a significant sports event ever held in Busan which will be participated in by a total of over 2,500 athletes from all parts of the world.”
Mayor Hong had a long string of special features of his district of the Busan City, which duly merited special attention from all parts of the world.
Hong said, “Offhand, our Haeundae District offers a very easy and comfortable access from all parts of the world through the Gimhae Airport, a sufficient number of six-star super deluxe hotels and other prestigious hotel facilities and, above all, we the Marine City in the vicinity of our Dongbaek (Camellia) Islet!”
Excerpts from the interview with Mayor Hong follow:
Question: We hear that the Haeundae District has won the bid to host the internationally famous Triathlon World Cup. Please introduce the event in detail
Answer: Yes, from July 1st to the 4th next year, our district will host the '2021 Haeundae Sprint Triathlon World Cup' (certified by the International Triathlon Federation) at the Haeundae Beach, the Dongbaek Islet, and the Marine City for four consecutive days. This is Busan's first world event approved by the ITU, and it is expected that more than 2,500 people, including men and women who are ranked 65th in the world ranking, will participate.
Triathlon is a race in which swimming, cycling, and marathon races are conducted in a row without a break. Swimming at Haeundae Beach, cycling at Marine City, marathon race on the Dongbaek Islet and the coastline beaches in the Haeundae District.
The sport events are divided into Elite Athletes and Junior Athletes and those others who regard the sports as a hobby. The Elite athletes have a 750-meter swimming, 20-kilometer cycling, 5-killometer marathon race. For the junior athletes and the hobby sports people, there are 1.5-kilometer swimming and 10-kilometer and an Aquathlon course.
In fact, Haeundae is the best place for the triathlon race. Convenient accessibility for the world athletes to easily find the venue through the Gimhae Airport, abundant accommodation facilities including 6-star hotels, and, above all, the beautiful urban environment such as the Marine City, the Dongbaek Islet in the sea, which all have the best conditions as the venue for the triathlon.
I usually had this idea, and last July I submitted a letter of intent to host the event to the International Triathlon Federation. The Federation has reported that it has decided to approve it, as it has reviewed our District's proposal and learned that it is well suited as a venue for the important world sports event.
This event, which will focus the attention of the world on Haeundae in Busan, Korea in July next year, will be a great opportunity to promote Haeundae, a marine tourism city, to the world by participating in a large number of domestic and international enthusiasts including famous athletes from around the world. With the success of the event, we will promote the Triathlon World Cup as a sports event representing our home district, Haeundae.
Q: Haeundae-gu is said to have held a “review meeting to check the progress of pledged projects” in the third year of the 7th-term popular election. How far have the pledged projects been implemented?
A: This year's unprecedented Corona 19 situation has brought us a really tough time, but we have been making every effort to carry out our commitments, which are our promises with the residents of our Gu (ward). As a result, in last May, the Korea Manifesto Practice Headquarters received the much-coveted grade of SA, the highest grade at the work performance evaluation authorities which determined the performance of the election pledges and information publication of the 7th publicly elected basic district election winners.
We check the performance results of the public pledges we made periodically. And this year, in its third year, we had time to thoroughly check the status of the commitment and problems with the heads of the department. As a result, 43 projects, 55% out of 78 pledges in 7 areas of balanced development, transportation system, safety, tourism, economy, welfare city, and sympathetic administration, were completed; 34 cases are under normal progress; and one review is in progress, in most instances very smoothly.
In particular, construction of the second Centum High-tech Industrial Complex is being accelerated with the elimination of restrictions on Green Belt in the area earlier this year and the confirmation of the site for the relocation.
In addition, after Bansong 2-dong was selected for the Urban Renewal New Deal in 2018, Banyo 2- and 3-dong was also selected for the same New Deal in November, and we will invest 46.6 billion won in the area for four years beginning next year. Through the Urban Renewal New Deal, the relatively underdeveloped residential environment in Banyeo and Bansong-dong have been dramatically improved, enabling the acceleration of balanced regional development.
Challenging is the extremely difficult transportation situation in the Haeundae area. In order to solve this problem, the proposal to extend the urban railroad line 2 to the Osiria Tourist Complex was reflected in the Busan city rail network construction plan and is waiting for approval from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
The Haeundae Tunnel, which runs through the left and right sides of Banyo and Banyeo, is actively in consultation with the Central Government and the Busan City, and the construction of the highway between Haeundae and Sasang passed the private-funded qualification survey by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in October. We will try to do our best to make it happen and successfully implement all the pledged projects without fail during the second half of our tenure.
Q: In recognition of its achievements in coping with the COVID-19 crisis and creating a communication/safety/resident-led innovation community, you were awarded with the ‘2020 Korea Autonomous Development Awards’ last August, which is an honor for Haeundae-gu and furthermore, and it is a model for responding to corona crises nationwide. Please explain on these topics in detail.
A: Thanks to the support and cooperation rendered by our Haeundae residents, we were able to receive the glorious award. I would like to express my thanks to our residents and all the kind-heatted people availing myself of this occasion. The Korea Autonomous Development Grand Prize was hosted by the Korea Local Government Development Institute and sponsored by the Korean Association for Local Government Studies. We were honored with the grand prize in recognition of the unique achievements of local autonomy in Haeundae District. Revitalization of the communication community, realization of a participatory community, establishment of a resident-led innovation community, and creation of Haeundae, where you want to stay safe and long: these aspects brought us the much-voted honor and awards. And I am so grateful to all of our residents.
In order to revitalize the communication community, I run the 'OK Empathy Ward Mayor's Office' to listen to the residents' grievances and recommendations in the civil petition room on the first floor every Friday, and the '123 Project (Living with a Single Family Neighbor)' to prevent loneliness, a major social problem these days. The promotion was well received.
For the realization of the community of participation, the promotion of “Haeundae Amenities” to create a clean and pleasant Haeundae that everyone wants to live in, and the operation of the “Haeundae Byeolbam (Star-lit Night) School,” which made the Haeundae Road behind Haeundae Station the best alley in the country, were all praised as being unique.
In addition, for the establishment of a resident-led innovation community, the operation of the Conflict-Grievances Mediation Council and the operation of the “Residents' Council,” in which residents themselves discuss and decide on local issues such as village projects, received good marks. Lastly, the creation of Haeundae, which wants to stay safe and live for a long time, was highly evaluated for taking measures to prevent damage from building winds for the first time in Korea, and for the operation of Busan's first “Ward Residents Safety Insurance.”
In particular, the operation of a thorough quarantine system has helped protect Haeundae and Songjeong beaches from Corona 19, and it has received a good evaluation that no single confirmed COVID-19 case has appeared at the beach this summer.
Q: Your District won the Korea City Award for the first time since its opening, and you also won the “Proud Dong-A Person Award” as a city expert. Please introduce the backdrop of winning such coveted awards.
A: On October 26, our district received a special award given to the fourth place nationwide in the ‘2020 Korea City Awards’ comprehensive evaluation. Since 2000, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has been awarding the “Korea City Grand Prize” to excellent ones among 229 cities, counties, and districts across the country every year. We received excellent appraisals for building wind damage prevention service for the first time in the country, installation of excellent storage facilities in Banyeo and Jwa-dong districts to prevent flooding of urban areas such as heavy rain in summer, prevention of children's traffic accidents and creation of safe school routes, holding Haeundae Light Festival, and creation of Suyeong River night view.
In the urban economy sector, it was analyzed that the efforts to promote the urban high-tech industrial complex in the Centum 2 district, the attraction of the semi-high-speed rail (EMU-260) to Haeundae, and the extension of the urban railroad line 2 Dongbusan Line were excellent.
In the urban environment sector, Haeundae amenity practice campaign to create a people-centered pleasant urban environment, expansion of eco-friendly and renewable energy supply, construction of a cooling & clean road on Haeundae Beach to create a safe tourist environment in hot weather, and the creation of a specialized street on the Haeundae Hot Springs gained high marks.
In addition, in the support system sector, it is recognized that the promotion of Jangsan District Park in Haeundae, promotion of the Urban Regeneration New Deal Project in Bansong 2-dong and Banyeo 2-and 3-dong, opening of the online communication network 'Damoiso', and a roundtable meeting of 100 heads of the gu offices have enhanced urban competitiveness.
Since the launch of the 7th civil election, we are happy to find Haeundae's unique urban identity in accordance with the people-centered urban development philosophy, and have been highly praised for the results of our endless efforts to color the identity appropriate to that identity. We will make the best city.
Q: We hear that you listen to the grievances of the residents at the ‘OK Empathy Mayor Office’ by working in the civil petition office every Friday from September 2018. We feel that it is a kind of Sinmungo System that is well suited to this era that values communication and harmony are very important. I am curious about what you felt and what effect you have achieved while implementing this system.
(Sinmungo was a large drum that was hung on a gate tower of the Royal Palace compound during the Joseon Dynasty. Any citizen, who had a grievance case mostly inflicted upon the subjects by the ranking officials and/or wealthy people, sounded the “Hear my problem” drum.)
A: When I became the mayor of the district, I tried to work in the complaint office almost every day, not once a week. But, when I talked to the official in charge, he said, ‘I’m dying due to hard work.’ So, the adjustment was made once a week, and at that time, people around me thought, “After about two months, I’ll get tired and I’ll lift all my hands and feet.” However, seeing that it continues to this day, the expectations are wrong.
Looking at civil affairs, there were many cases where public officials were unable to work because there were many people who screamed in group protests in front of the main gate or in the construction department or architecture department. When I met the residents of the Civil Affairs Office, I did things that I could solve myself, and adjusted things to be coordinated. In addition, the person in charge of the department was called and asked to kindly explain and help the complaints.
Of course, if it was a nonsense complaint, I refused it on the spot. At first, there were many difficulties, but now that it is settled, when a group complaint comes in, I usually guide them to the complaint room on Friday when I go to work. According to statistics, from September 2018 to the end of August this year, 70 times were operated and 726 recommendations were handled. About 46% were settled on Friday. Fortunately, most of the complaints seem to have been possible because of my major in urban engineering.
Q: Lastly, do you have anything else to say to the residents of Haeundae District and the citizens of Busan?
A: I would like to express my gratitude to Haeundae-gu residents for their trust and support. We will not be satisfied with our achievements so far, but will continue to work harder for the “innovative development of Haeundae, a people-oriented future city.
We will continue to prioritize communication with the residents of the district, and we will do our best to ensure that many mega projects such as the construction of the new airport on Gadeokdo Island, the creation of the Centum District 2 industrial complex, the relocation of the new district building, the construction of the Haeundae Tunnel, and the extension of the Busan Metro Line 2 to Osiria Tourism Complex.
All of this will be realized sooner if not only Haeundae residents but also Busan citizens support it together. I don't think that Haeundae development and Busan development are separated. I think that the development of Haeundae is the development of Busan. I think it shines great when it comes together. We will work hard for the development of Haeundae and further development of Busan. I ask for your support and encouragement.
Haeundae is an exemplary and promising district not only in the Busan area but also for other city districts in Seoul and other areas of the Republic of Korea.
Haeundae District, which has a population of about 423,000 persons, is the most populous district of Busan with 11.6% of the city population, and covers an area of 51.44 km² (19.86 sq mi) in eastern Busan.
According to Wikipedia, Haeundae became a division of Busan Metropolitan City in 1976 and attained the status of district in 1980. Haeundae is an affluent coastal community best known for Haeundae Beach, one of the most famous and popular beaches in the ROK. The beach attracts tens of thousands of tourists during summer. Haeundae is one of the wealthiest districts in Korea, and has been attaining considerable commercial development in recent decades, including the Marine City and Centum City areas with their distinctive skyscrapers and high-rise buildings.
Haeundae is linked to Busan Subway Line 2 and train stations on the Donghae Nambu railway line.
Haeundae takes its name from the ninth century Silla scholar and poet Choi Chi-won (literary name Haeun, or "Sea and Clouds"), who, according to a historical account, admired the view from the beach and built a pavilion nearby. A piece of Choi's calligraphy, which he engraved on a rock at Haeundae, is known to still exist.
Haeundae used to be isolated from the large communities in Busan and Busanjin. It remained undeveloped until the late 1970s and early 1980s. A small number of luxury hotels were constructed after the 1988 Seoul Olympics. More hotels and other tourist facilities have been constructed on the beach-front area since the mid-1990s, and shopping malls and movie theatre complexes have been built in the 'centre' of Haeundae: an area between Haeundae Station and the beach. The area has continued to grow, apart from during the Asian financial crisis of 1997.
Haeundae New Town, a major commercial and residential redevelopment project, begun in 1990, and is located in the Jwa-dong area. This area lies in the southern shadow of Jangsan mountain to the north, and is bounded in the south by Haeundae Station on the Dalmaji Gogae line of the Korean National Railroad.
Another development project, Centum City, has been ongoing since early 2000 and is now a major feature of Busan. Its BEXCO (Busan Exhibition and Convention Center) has become a popular venue for international conventions and exhibitions. Marine City, located nearby, is constructed on land reclaimed from the sea, and has several huge, high-rise apartment blocks. Additional apartment blocks are under construction, with water resorts and related facilities, for use by the public, also planned for Marine City.
Haeundae's Dalmaji Hill is touted as one of the eight attractions of Busan, and is noted for its scenic view of the moon.
Choe Chi-won (857-10th century), an official and poet from the late Unified Silla Dynasty (668-935), was so struck by its beauty that he decided to extend his stay there. The hill's winding trail that juxtaposes with the ocean is truly awe-inspiring. Some even say that Dalmaji Hill is Busan's answer to Montmartre. The hill is also noted as one of the best places to view cherry blossoms in Busan.
Haeundae beach is regarded as one of the most famous beaches in South Korea. Many events, such as religious events, BIFF movie talks, and company promotions, are held here throughout the year. The area around the beach is very developed, featuring many residential high rises and shopping centers.
Haeundae is popular also in South Korean media as a setting or filming location due to being one of South Korea's most famous beaches and affluent communities. The district was the setting of the movie Haeundae, a South Korean disaster movie based on the relatively unlikely scenario of an immense tsunami hitting the city of Busan.
Haeundae has been featured in numerous K-Dramas, with the beach and Dongbaekseom Island being used as a filming location for Seoul Broadcasting System's 2008 drama entitled Star's Lover. The island was the location for the scene where Lee Ma-ri, played by Choi Ji-woo confesses her love for Kim Chul-Soo, played by Yoo Ji-tae; and the couple takes a walk on the beach. In 2012, KBS2 broadcast a drama, Haeundae Lovers, using Busan and the district as a backdrop. Much of the story takes place in Cheongsapo, a coastal community in the district east of Haeundae Beach.
Hauendae is home to the Busan Cinema Center, the location of the annual Busan International Film Festival, which features 5 inside theaters and 1 outside theater.
Haeundae is also a popular culinary destination, boasting both traditional and foreign cuisines. Many restaurants sell Dwaejigukbab (pork rice soup), one of Busan's signature dishes. The market has a wide array of seafood available, notably eel. Gumsu-Bukkuk, South Korea's most famous puffer fish stew restaurant, has its original location in Haeundae. Additionally, visitors can buy seafood from food trucks that line the beachfront.
Haeundae has a relatively large expatriate population (in Busan) and foreign cuisines are relatively popular, including Indian, Brazilian, and American. High-end cuisine can be found in many of Haeundae's hotels, as well as in Centum City and on Dalmaji Hill.
Notable people hailing from the Haeundae District include: Jeung Eun-ji (Singer, Apink)
An Jae Mo (Actor), and Kang Seung-yoon (Singer, WINNER)
The overseas cecities of Haeundae include the Parañaque City of the Philippines.