The globalization and localization trend of the 21st century makes a nation’s competitiveness synonymous with its urban competitiveness. Urbanization throughout the world is in a rapid progress to a degree that more than a half of the current world population lives in urbanized area. As a result, there emerge numerous issues i.e. lack of urban infrastructures such as land, housings, water and sewages, park and open spaces as well as various environmental problems of traffic congestion, pollution, degradation of the natural, ecological, historical and cultural resources. Furthermore, the increasing amount of energy and recycling resources, also known as “waste” that are committed to various urban activities can lead to the emission of greenhouse gases and climate change, which is the most critical question of the current times that man faces. 

Graduate School of Environmental Studies (GSES), Seoul National University, was born to solve the urban and environmental issues, with a pioneering perspective, through interdisciplinary fusion and consolidation. For the urban and environmental problems are too multi-dimensional to solve with a single discipline’s solution, the integrated and balanced insights from the different specialties are required to solve the problems.

The root of GSES goes back into 1968 when the industrialization and urbanization - so called ‘rural exodus’ - of Korea got into its stride, and when Seoul National University installed the Department of Urban and Regional Planning for the graduates. After since 40 years that GSES was established in 1973, we have been grown into an education & research institution that encompasses not only the unban issues but also the field of transport, environment, landscape design and urban design. 

Our 24 faculties are looking for the planning solutions to accommodate the rapid-increasing demand for urban development and, at the same time, concern natural conservations, transportation congestions, environmental pollutions and overspending energy.

A wide range of research and education on a various issues such as urban and regional planning, real estate, transportation, logistics, environment, energy, ecology, landscape, culture, urban design and landscape design are performed in GSES. GSES has a mutual system of faculties and students from multi-disciplinary backgrounds who interact in a kin process of research and education. We will exert our utmost efforts in keeping up the ongoing development of integrated education and research system to create fused intelligence and nurturing talents that are required in future society.

Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Seoul National University

Hong, Jong Ho / Dean