| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
In October 2012, the Seoul Metropolitan Government developed a solution for floor noise conflicts as part of the “Seoul Plan for Executing Joint Conflict Management.”
In February 2013, the murder due to a floor noise conflict became a social issue, and thus the “Measure for Solving Floor Noise Disputes” was prepared in March 2013. With the community’s help, they created a satisfactory result by collecting citizens’ opinions.
Establishing the Measure for Solving Floor Noise Disputes and holding a press conference: March 13, 2013
The Seoul Metropolitan Government held a press conference after they prepared the “Measure for Solving Floor Noise Level Disputes at Apartment Houses,” by actively supporting a variety of matters. Chiefly they focused on residents being able to voluntarily mediate disputes.
A “Town Meeting” for solving floor noise conflicts: May 28, 2013
To prepare a solution for floor noise conflicts a variety of citizens gathered, from those personally involved, to apartment management, to civil servants, to specialists, even nursery school teachers, etc. Together they sought problem-solving ideas by gathering opinions and perspectives on the policies that were to be implemented.
Presentation of solutions and ideas from citizens: April 25 to May 24, 2013
Six prizes (three per event) were presented after citizens’ participation in a public contest for creating floor noise conflict solutions. Furthermore, the precinct was also given the authority to benchmark solutions and ideas.
Floor noise levels sympathy expo: June 20 to June 23, 2013 (4 days)
A floor noise conflict forum was held providing consultation, and to aid individuals involved to recognize and understand both sides. As such, the expo provided a space for experiencing floor noise and sharing experiences about the harm it inflicts.
Use civic groups, etc. to establish and pilot self-regulating resident regulations and others: May to October 2013
The Seoul Metropolitan Government, in cooperation with the Seoul YWCA Neighborhood Dispute Mediation Center and the Women’s Peacemaking Association for Dispute Resolution, put together measures for solving floor noise issues and conducted a survey to residents of “Eunpyeong New Town Jegangmal Apartment Complex” and the “Galhyeon-dong Koron Haneulchae Apartment Complex” .
The survey was conducted on 30 households of the Eunpyeong-gu Jegangmal Apartment Complex for three months. The survey results showed that 27 households had experienced floor noise issues. The Jegangmal Apartment Complex was considered quiet, but residents learned otherwise and held an education program for preventing or reducing floor noise.
Consequently, they organized the “Love Neighborhood,” and the “resident’s voluntary committee for mediating floor noise levels". They established a “resident voluntary agreement for adhering to proper floor noise levels” with the consent of 276 of 330 households, and recovered a community spirit that showed consideration and respect.
Talent and skills donation by the Living Culture Research Institute: July to October 2013
The Living Culture Research Institute held a briefing session and carried out a survey about floor noise on four complexes selected by the city of Seoul. Additionally, they supported the establishment of “self-regulating resident rules” appropriate for each complex, and a method for implementing and operating the residents’ mediation committee.
Developing and using the Resident Communication Board: July to October 2013
The communication board previously installed was used primarily only to announce resident notices, administration information, etc. Therefore, creating two-way communication between residents was attempted, but was found to be difficult.
Thus, the Seoul Metropolitan Government held workshops for residents of the Jegangmal Apartment Complex and Eunpyeong-gu New Town. Through the workshops they refined design, and installed a communication board, which contributed to solving floor noise conflicts.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Private Nursery Education Association entered an MOU: March 2013 - present
Considering that 73.3% (March 15, 2012 to October 31, 2013) of floor noise results from children walking or running, 13,000 copies of a cartoon titled, “No worries about floor noise” were issued as floor noise education.
A program for the prevention of floor noise was launched at elementary schools and kindergartens in Seoul via the cooperation of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, and thusly entered an “MOU for prevention and education of floor noise” with the Seoul Private Nursery Education Association. A preventative educational program was held for apartment security guards, resident representatives, property management employees, and others that had experienced resident complaints.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
. Build a public civil cooperation network with civic groups and floor noise specialization organizations
On March 15, 2013, the Seoul Metropolitan Government decided develop a voluntary resident mediation model with the cooperation of the Seoul YMCA Neighborhood Conflict Mediation Center and the Women’s Peacemaking Association for Dispute Resolution.
The Seoul YMCA Neighborhood Conflict Mediation Center held five resident meetings, heard cases from residents suffering from floor noise conflicts, both successful and non-successful cases , discussed resident communication and how to prevent or reduce disputes over floor noise levels, and conducted a survey. Afterwards, they provided customized education based around the residents’ needs.
The Women’s Peacemaking Association for Dispute Resolution works to prevent issues with floor noise levels and solves problems by through surveys, educational programs, etc. The group targeted the Galhyeon-dong Koron Apartment Complex residents to create self-regulating resident rules and a voluntary resident mediation committee.
Additionally, the Living Culture Research Institute donated their efforts and ran a test operation for four months from July to October in 2013.
Running a preventative program at elementary and nursery schools in cooperation with the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education and the Seoul Private Nursery Education Association
At the end of September, Seoul issued a manual for floor noise prevention, called, “'Loving your neighbors like your family, no more worries about floor noise!” targeting 1st to 3rd graders and nursery school toddlers, as they are the source of the majority of floor noise.
The Seoul school inspector, elementary and nursery school teachers, etc. provided consultation support in reviewing the manual. With the cooperation of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education and the Private Nursery Education Association, 13,000 issues were distributed to elementary schools, kindergartens, and nursery schools. The goal was to educate elementary and nursery school teachers about the topic of floor noise prevention.
Training session for apartment security, 1st floor noise coordinator
The resident with floor noise conflicts typically report this to a security guard or a property management office. Therefore, an educational program regarding conflicts, or mediation was provided for security guards. The goal of the program was to encourage positive and early responses to floor noise complaints
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Financial resources: budget reduction through civil-public governance
This project, which was executed to deal with the serious social issue of floor noise levels, was carried out without a budget in March 2013. However, 38 million KRW was received in the form of talent donation from civic groups and agencies that specialize in floor noise levels.
Furthermore, two civic groups donated their budgets (18 million KRW) and the Living Culture Research Institute made a talent donation (20 million KRW)
Technical resources: consultation development by civil resource specialists
In order to implement this project effectively, the acquisition of an agency specializing in floor noise levels was of the upmost importance. Therefore, the project offered a resident education program and special consultation regarding self-regulating resident rules for model complex residents; all of which was carried out by establishing governance between civic groups and specialized civil agencies. The Seoul Metropolitan Bureau of Childbirth and the Childcare Division entered into an MOU for “floor noise prevention education” with Seoul National and the Public and Private Nursery Education Association, and supported floor noise prevention programs for nursery school toddlers. In close cooperation with apartments in 25 precincts, it helped apartment complex residents voluntarily establish self-regulating resident rules, self-regulating mediation boards, and more.
Human resources: civil specialists to propose a voluntary resident mediation model
The director of the Living Culture Research Institute supported four model complexes by offering a survey, briefing sessions, drafting of resident rules, and forming and operating a self-regulating mediation board, and he also contributed to the formation of a neighborhood community. The Seoul YMCA Neighborhood Conflict Mediation Center dispatched a specialist to a model apartment, led the creation of a neighborhood community by holding a residents’ meeting and a resident education session, and offered consultation for the establishment of self-regulating resident rules (draft), and the formation of a self-regulating mediation board. They also held an agreement ceremony with Jegangmal Apartment Complex residents. 13 students, public officers, citizens, service design consultants, etc. joined a citizen service design workshop, conducted a field survey and resident education, and developed a resident communication board that took residents’ opinions into consideration.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Executing the voluntary resident agreement through community action
The precinct voluntarily joined in developing a foundation for residents to take issues with floor noise levels into their own hands. Since that time a measure for solving floor noise level issues was publicized in March 2013.
The project for the prevention of floor noise was executed in the precinct office from May to September 2013, where 251 self-regulating resident rules were established, 267 self-regulating mediation boards were formed, 87 resolved cases were collected, and 2,180 communication boards were installed in 349 apartment complexes.
The campaign of “sending a postcard to neighbors” started from the Banghak-dong volunteer center in Seoul where Sinhak Elementary School students participated by sending a total of 1,100 letters or postcards (for 5 months) to elderly residents of Shindongah Apartment Complex. Senior citizens in the neighborhood responded with a letter or postcard and as such the number of complaints were reduced to 1/3 during that period (74 cases → 24 cases). It was confirmed that the final solution for floor noise level disputes consists of communication and consideration between neighbors, and not anger-fueled complaints. Design service specialists, citizens, students, and public officers opened an 8-week workshops (July 4 to September 6, 2013) to provide details related to a bulletin that was posted in each apartment. The administrative service was then enhanced by gathering opinions from residents dwelling in these apartments. This was carried out via the communication board and service design techniques were also applied to develop a resident communication board.
Using civic groups and agencies that specialize in regulating floor noise levels to pilot self-regulating resident rules, etc.
By using civic groups, such as the Seoul YMCA Neighborhood Conflict Mediation Center and Women’s Peacemaking Association for Dispute Resolution, a poll on floor noise and self-regulating resident rules was developed for the Eunpyeong New Town, Jegangmal Apartment Complex, and the Galhyeon-dong Koron Apartment Complex. The first residents’ committee for mediating disputes over floor noise levels put a lot of effort into their resident education and prevention activities (monthly resident meeting, advertising materials and broadcasting, and activation program operation). The Living Culture Research Institute supported a survey targeting four apartment complexes, a briefing session, a voluntary resident agreement, and the formation and operation of a floor noise mediation committee.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Applying incentives in connection with the apartment community project
The voluntary resident solutions for solving floor noise level issues were suggested throughout 25neighborhoods, and the number of the apartment complexes that are making their own self-regulating resident rules are increasing.
In addition, precincts were evaluated by applying incentives for the establishment of self-regulating resident rules, resident communication boards, etc. This took place in connection with the apartment project in 2013 that was carried out in order to revitalize a resident-led community.
Monitoring through civic groups and specialized civil agencies
With the help of civic groups (the Seoul YMCA Neighborhood Conflict Mediation Center), a specialized civil agency (the Living Culture Research Institute), and the participation of individual residents at six apartment complexes, the Seoul Metropolitan Government created “self-regulating resident rules,” and executed the policy by forming a voluntary resident mediation committee that will administer the rules.
In 2013, the Dobong-gu Shindongah Apartment Complex started the “writing a letter to your neighbors campaign” as a community project to solve its floor noise level problems and incidences of such issues drastically decreased from 74 cases in May 2013 to 21 cases in September of the same year.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Finding solutions by attracting participation from apartment complexes that lack a sense of community
Many problems occurred in thinking over and solving community issues together. This was due to communication barriers between residents and low participation rates in community programs. However, the Seoul Metropolitan Government offered an incentive for the establishment of self-regulating resident rules, the formation of voluntary resident mediation committees, etc., to solve issues with floor noise levels in connection with building a community. In addition, the district office actively led residents to push for and spread it voluntarily.
The project was executed without the security of a budget. Therefore, executing it proved problematic given the need for funding. On October 19, 2013, the Seoul YMCA Neighborhood Conflict Mediation Center, which is a civic group, provided a floor noise education program for apartment residents, drafted self-regulating resident rules, established a resident committee for voluntary mediation, and held an agreement ceremony with residents.
The Living Culture Research Institute donated its talents for four apartment complexes selected by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and supported floor noise resident presentations, self-regulating resident rules, surveys, and the formation and operation of a resident committee for voluntary mediation.
Residents’ low participation rates in the neighborhood community project and the shortage of floor noise level regulation activists
Residents’ low participation rates in the neighborhood project delayed the formation of a community, and it was hard to find civil specialists who could mediate floor noise level disputes between parties. Therefore, it was executed by using civic groups and floor noise specialization agencies. Finally, it all came together with the help of a community planner, as it facilitated the formation of a community and established a task force team and a support system that included various specialists.