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Green investments create jobs and boost industries

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Busan is campaigning to have the city's parks recognized as national urban parks (Photo: Eulsukdo Ecological Park would make up part of the Nakdong Estuary national urban park).

Mayor Park with Tim Beatley of Biophilic Cities.

 On May 28, Busan became the first Korean city to join the Biophilic Cities Network. Launched in 2013 at the University of Virginia in the U.S., the Biophilic Cities Network is a coalition of cities, organizations and individuals committed to planning and designing cities where the natural world is an integral element of daily life. At the heart of Biophilic Cities is the concept of biophilia: That humans have co-evolved with the natural world and that we have an innate need for contact with nature and other forms of life.
 Busan joins a global community of 32 cities in 14 countries, including Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Toronto, Singapore, Barcelona, Spain, and Wellington, New Zealand. Partner cities work collectively to pursue the vision of a "natureful city" that harmonizes the environment and culture unique to each location.
 Biophilic Cities recognized Busan for its efforts and achievements in becoming a sustainable green city where nature and citizens coexist in natural and urban areas. The recognition is the latest development under City Hall's pursuit of a new, green future. Under the banner of "The First to the Future, Green Smart City, Busan," the city is investing in several eco-friendly initiatives in various industries. In addition to protecting nature, these green projects will create jobs and strengthen the economy.

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Testing LPG-fueled propulsion ships.

 This green revolution is making waves in the shipbuilding industry. On April 25, the Smart Repair Shipbuilding Support Center opened in Yeongdo-gu District. The center allows local businesses to test drive the latest eco-friendly ship repair and maintenance equipment. It also supports companies in upgrading their businesses to stay competitive in the global market. The resources available at the Smart Repair Shipbuilding Support Center will allow companies to better serve their customers in light of the environmental regulations the International Maritime Organization implemented in 2020.
 Then, on April 30, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups officially announced Busan's selection as a special zone for next-generation marine mobility. The designation eases regulations to support the development of new products and overseas expansion in future technology.
 Previously, regulations prevented companies from testing certain next-generation technologies. However, starting this month, those regulations have been lifted. As a result, Busan companies can further advance ship equipment and ship management technologies, such as eco-friendly and digital self-driving vessels and carbon capture systems on small and medium-sized ships.
 In addition, the city has signed Memorandums of Understanding with four leading data center companies; Busan Eco Delta Green Data Center PFV, Empyrion Digital, BEP & Mirae Asset, and Elice Group. The companies will invest 3.6 trillion won to create a green data center cluster within Eco Delta City in Gangseo-gu District.
 Data centers house the computing infrastructure that IT systems require and are necessary components of Fourth Industrial products and services, such as artificial intelligence, cloud technology, big data analytics and more. The four companies are leaders in constructing and operating data centers while minimizing carbon footprints through water and energy-efficient technologies.
 The green data center cluster will house around 100,000 servers and help establish a robust digital ecosystem in Busan to drive future growth. 
 The project is expected to have a significant economic impact. The building and operation of the green data centers are expected to create over 1,000 jobs. Then, industries and companies that rely on data center infrastructure can expand. Officials believe the project can eventually create over 50,000 jobs, grow tax revenue and boost the local economy.

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My Town ESG Center in Dong-gu District.

 Finally, My Town ESG Centers have helped the city reduce carbon emissions while providing much-needed jobs for older people. 
 Over the past two years, Busan's two ESG centers have collected 15,000 kilograms of plastic waste, reduced around 19,000 kilograms of carbon emissions, and provided 870 jobs to senior citizens. The city plans to open more centers this year.

<Vocab Spotlight>
Estuary: 강 하구, 강어귀
coalition: 연합
integral: 통합
coexist: 공존
propulsion: 추진, 추진력
regulation: 규제
Memorandums of Understanding: 양해각서