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 EcoMobility Festival 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.
Here is a summary of all blog posts about the festival on Kojects:
Can you imagine that a neighborhood in Korea removes all cars and uses many alternatives methods of transport for a whole month? For me, it’s hard to imagine but in September Suwon City and ICLEI are going to hold the “EcoMobility World Festival” (in Korean “수원 생태교통 2013″).
After the last post introduced the EcoMobility World Festival to readers, this time I want to show the current progress of the preparations. On Sunday, July 23rd, I visited the prospective festival area. If you want to transform a neighborhood to a car-free area, it takes much more than just removing cars. Long-term changes have to done in the built environment.
On Tuesday, August 20th, I was again at the festival area of the EcoMobility Festival. I wanted to see how far the preparations proceeded. You remember that the festival starts in September, 11 days after I took the pictures (and less than a week after this post).
Today on September 1 was the opening of EcoMobility World Festival in Suwon. When I arrived there at 5 pm, the festival was already in full swing. There was a large stage in front of the Haenggung Palace. It was so amazing to see the result of months of constructions and planning. Someone told me that the last construction sites finished in the night. There was still a smell of fresh asphalt in the air.
On Friday, October 25, I visited Haengkung-dong in Suwon again. This neighborhood was the showcase for the first EcoMobility World Festival.
In my previous post with pictures of Haenggunk-dong after the EcoMobility World Festival, I promised to upload some videos. Here they are! They show a ride through this area along the main street and then through many side alleys before getting back on the main road.
EcoMobility World Festival 2015?
ICLEI, the main organizer of the festival, wants to hold the festival every year (or every second year) in another city around the world. Berlin was chosen for the second EcoMobility Festival in 2015 but politicians were against the project and so it got cancelled. So now ICLEI is looking for a new candidate. It’s a great chance for a city to revive their urban center and put people into the focus of development.