Seoul’s New Public Bicycle System

Megacities like Paris, London and New York initiated public bicycle sharing systems with the goal to raise the share of cycling. New York has their Citi bikes, London has the Boris bikes (or officially known as Barclays Cycle Hire) and Paris begun in 2007 the world-famous Vélib’. These are all huge systems with thousands of bicycles. Once, we gave an overview of systems in Korea and until now Seoul offers only two small bike-sharing services with around 340 bicycles. This year the bicycle policy team from Seoul’s transport division was unbelievably busy with setting up a new master plan for the development of such a system. A new public bicycle sharing system will be implemented in five areas in Seoul. It is the beginning of a city-wide bike service and the transformation of Seoul’s road infrastructure to a more diverse network. Read more of this post

Dalweol & Weonheung Stations to Open on 27 December

Most years a number rail/metro projects will end up being scheduled to open on the same day and this year is no different. Along with the connection between the Gyeongui and Jungang Lines mentioned in my previous post, two stations Dalweol Station (달월역) and Weonheung Station (원흥역) will be opening on this day.
Read more of this post

Gyeongui Line & Jungang Line to Finally Connect

It’s almost the end of the year already! Living away from Korea and having a fairly busy job has kept me from blogging. Thanks so much to my co-blogger Nikola for helping to keep Kojects alive despite being busy with this own work.

Nevertheless I’m still keeping my eye on developments – particularly on rail projects – and to be honest it has been fairly quiet with not too many major happenings in the last two years. (Still waiting on that Maglev to open!)

Korail321908One major change coming up very soon is the final connection between the Gyeongui Line (경의선) and the Jungang Line (중앙선). From 27 December 2014 a section of track between Gongdeok Station (공덕역) and Yongsan Station (용산역) will open — finally connecting the two lines.

With the direct connection in place, the two services will now operate as one. This means you’ll be able to travel from Munsan Station (문산역) near the DMZ all the way down to Yongmun Station (용문역) in the south-eastern area of Gyeonggi Province. The new service will cut up to 30 minutes off a trip between these two stations – though I imagine this is a journey that not many would regularly make! Read more of this post

Future of the Seoul Station Overpass

Seoul Station Overpass (1)A couple of months ago Seoul announced that they will transform the two-lane overpass at Seoul Station into a public green space. Role models for that project are the High Line in New York and the Promenade Plantée in Paris. On October 12th the overpass opened for pedestrians. It was the first time since the opening, some 44 years ago, that people were allowed to walk on the overpass. I visited the event and enjoyed a nice walk through one of Seoul’s most promising urban development projects. Read more of this post

Bus Number Signs

A problem in taking a bus in Seoul was always that you have to be careful to not miss it. Your bus might have hid behind another bus and just started off before the other vehicle. Or on the median bus lanes the buses piled up and it was impossible to read the number of every bus. Seoul solved this problem without any costs and it raised the convenience of Seoul’s public transportation system even more.

How did Seoul solve that? Read more of this post

Seoul’s High Line Project

Seoul has torn down a lot of overpasses in the last ten years. Alone in this year two overpasses (Ahyeon overpass and Yaksu overpass) have been removed. The majority of elevated roads was built in the 1970s. Now they have very high maintenance costs and even though many people won’t believe it, they are very counterproductive for the  traffic flow because they mainly favor automobiles. That’s the reason why most of them are being removed. After destroying a lot of overpasses, Seoul is finally going to keep one and transform it to a green space for citizens. Read more of this post

Songdo, revisited!

I’ve kept my promise of visiting Songdo in summer 2014! Songdo changed a lot since my last visit in winter 2013. First of all, there were more people on the streets. But it was also 40 degree warmer. Second, many new buildings were constructed or opened. The tallest skyscraper of South Korea opened: the Northeast Asia Trade Tower. It felt like a day isn’t enough to explore Songdo because it hosts so many different buildings, places and activities.

Many people visited and wrote about Songdo since the last visit. For example, Steve Miller made a video about the Incheon Global Campus of Songdo (here’s an article about that campus). Many international organizations moved to Songdo, among them are the Green Climate Fund and World Bank. Just some days ago there was an article about the smart city and eco-city concept of Songdo. In the Guardian Cities Colin Marshall summarized Songdo “as possibly the most humane space of its type”.  Songdo IBD also published a new promotional video about Songdo.

This time I’ve tried to visit places like the Canal Walk and the undeveloped western part that I missed the last time. I’ve took a bicycle to visit less accessible areas.  Read more of this post

Suwon EcoMobility Festival Anniversary

Exactly a year ago a small neighborhood in Suwon transformed into a pedestrian-friendly, car-free are for a whole month. It was the first event of such kind in the world. Residents and visitors could see how the modern city will look like. Personally, I enjoyed it very much. I saw the transformation from a car-dominated, noisy neighborhood to a very special, unique area for pedestrians and community.

In order to remember the festival and celebrate the one-year anniversary Suwon holds a car-free day event right now in Haengguk-dong. For September other events seem to be planned, too. Citizens of Suwon are advised to use public transport and bicycles during September.

suwon-ecomobility

Poster of the Anniversary Event in Suwon City

Here is a summary of all blog posts about the festival on Kojects: Read more of this post

The Success of Tayo Buses

Earlier this year Seoul decorated four of their buses with the main characters of the famous Korean cartoon show “Tayo the Little Bus” (꼬마버스 타요). Within a short time it became a huge success. Parents make a pilgrimage to bus stops with their children in order to ride their heroes from the TV show.

Tayo_Bus_4

All that it took was a pair of eyes and a smile on the front of the bus. On the side and the rear of the vehicles are drawings of the Tayo characters. It’s probably one of the most successful measures to promote the usage of buses towards children and parents. Read more of this post

Influence of Chaebols on Korean Cities

Everybody, who visits South Korea, will be surprised by the strong presence of certain companies. They are called Chaebol and among them are internationally famous conglomerates like Samsung, Hyundai and LG. It’s almost impossible to imagine that they are active in so many different, totally unrelated business areas if you have never saw it with your own eyes. But how does their power manifests in the urban surroundings in Korea?  Read more of this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 731 other followers