Seongnam is the second largest city in South Korea’s Gyeonggi province after Suwon and the 9th largest city in the country, with a population of nearly 1 million. The largely residential city is located immediately south of Seoul and belongs to the Seoul National Capital Area.
Seongnam, the first planned city in Korea’s history, was conceived during the era of president Park Chung-Hee for the purpose of industrializing the nation by concentrating electronic, textile, and petrochemical facilities there during the 70’s and 80’s. The city featured a network of roads, to Seoul and other major cities, from the early 70’s on. Today, Seongnam has merged with the metropolitan network of Seoul. Bundang, one of districts in Seongnam, was developed in 90’s.
To accelerate the dispersion of Seoul population to its suburbs and relieve the congested Seoul metropolitan area, the Korean government has provided stimulus packages to large public corporations and private companies to be headquartered in the Bundang district. Bundang-gu is now home to prominent companies such as KT (formerly Korea Telecom), Korea Gas Corporation, KEPCO, and Korea Land Corporation.
In recent years, a movement to have Seongnam designated a metropolitan city capable of governing itself has arisen.
In August 2009, the city of Seongnam decided to merge with the city of Hanam, also in Gyeonggi-do.
The city is also home to dominant K-League soccer club Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma.