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The Role of Cities as First Responders to Pandemics: Focusing on the Case of the
Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Response to COVID-19
This study was conducted to discuss the role of urban governments in the future, including intercity network construction, by reviewing cases of responding to COVID-19 in Seoul amid changes in the international situation caused by COVID-19. This paper is organized into four sections. First, this paper described the outbreak of COVID-19 in Seoul from January to August 2020 and the Seoul city's response over time. Second, the background of Alliance for Multilateralism and inter-city cooperation in accordance with the changes in the international situation due to COVID-19 was explained. Third, the response of the Seoul Metropolitan Government to the pandemic was reviewed based on the following four characteristics: (i) Social distancing; (ii) Enhanced contact tracing; (iii) Widespread testing; and, (iv) Early preparation. Finally, this paper reviewed how Seoul city cooperated with overseas cities in order to overcome the pandemic crisis, as well as the cases in which 25 autonomous districts of Seoul shared their policies using the Healthy Cities Network.
COVID-19, Pandemic crisis, City’s response, Intercity network, Role of cities