Amazing Dongdaemun Design Plaza

dongdaemun design plaza (5)Finally I visited the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, in short DDP, which opened on March 21st. As you can already tell by the name, it lies in the famous Dongdaemun shopping area. This very futuristic building is the new hub for design and modern culture in Korea. It is also very photogenic design, so  I took pictures with my phone and GoPro (so some pictures have a wide-angle, fish-eye effect!). If you want to see better pictures, please go to Robert Koehler’s Flickr-page or to his Tumblr. Let’s explore the Dongdaemun Design Plaza together. Read more of this post

A Ride through the EcoMobility Festival Area

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. If the videos feel strange, then it’s because I used the Youtube stabilization feature. Here’s the first video, which ends with a funny surprise:

Then we got back on the main street and experienced various sorts of traffic on the streets:

Haenggunk Neighborhood After the EcoMobility Festival

After EcoMobility (7)On Friday, October 25, I revisited Haengkung-dong in Suwon. This neighborhood was the showcase for the first EcoMobility World Festival. I wrote about it several times in the last few months. Almost one month ago the sustainable transport-experiment finished and the area opened again for cars. This was my first visit since the end of the festival. I didn’t have any high expectations and actually, I thought that the situation would be bad (a pedestrian-unfriendly area) but I was positively surprised. Come with me on a virtual walk through Haengkung-dong!

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The Truth About Korea’s Invisible Skyscraper Tower Infinity


(Source: Archinect)

Since a couple of days my news feed is filled with articles with the headlines “Seoul’s Invisible Tower”, “World’s First Invisible Skyscraper in Seoul, Korea”, “Infinity Tower Will Light Up Seoul’s Sky” and so on. On the right you can see a picture of picture of the planned skyscraper. The origin of this buzz is an article at Archinect about the official permission to begin construction. A lot of friends also posted articles on Facebook, which emphasized the obscurity of this project. All articles contain wrong information which I will try to correct as best as possible. This article is going to clarify the location and context of the project.

While doing research for this issue, I wasn’t easy to find Korean articles about this building. It seems like that the official name of the building is “Cheongna City Tower”. The winner of the design competition GDS Architects named it as “Tower Infinity”. In this post I’ll just use the Tower Infinity or Infinity Tower because this is probably the least important mistake.

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Opening of EcoMobility Festival

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.

The main road outside the neighborhood is also partially closed. Only buses and taxis are allowed to drive on the lane towards south, the other lane was open was all traffic and the rest was kept free of traffic. I’m not sure if it’s going to be the whole month like this because it is a very important street in Suwon with a lot of traffic.


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Update on Preparations of EcoMobility Festival

IMG_3758On 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).  I was surprised in many ways and I got a totally different impression of the neighborhood than at my first time. Please read beforehand my other posts about the festival (General Introduction to EcoMobility World FestivalPictures of my first visit).

Let’s start with the way towards the district. The road outside of the festival area got a new surface not too long ago. The street lines are still missing but the traffic is already operating there as usual.

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The End of Dream Hub

The largest urban planning project of South Korea is never going to be realized. Of course, I talk about Yongsan International Business District. KORAIL announced that they won’t develop the land. The bought properties are going back to their former owners and the partners of Dream Hub project get their investment back. The project never made it out of the planning phase. However, the plans are pretty amazing and so I’ll try to show briefly a real estate developer’s dream.


(Source: Dream Hub)

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How Good is Seoul’s BRT?

What do you combine with Curitiba in Brazil? Of course, the first thing that comes into mind, is the bus rapid transit system of that city. Curitiba could be described as the inventor of bus rapid transit and their accomplishments set the bar for other cities around the world. If you don’t know what I’m speaking about, let me introduce this special bus system for you: Bus rapid transit is abbreviated as “BRT” and a good definition is given by the New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Agency:

Bus Rapid Transit or BRT has been defined as “a flexible, integrated, high performance transit system with a quality image and a strong identity.” BRT combines the speed, reliability and amenities of rail-based rapid transit systems with the flexibility of buses.

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A Visit to Songdo

Songdo Panorama

Songdo is the sensational urban development project of Incheon on reclaimed land at the western coast of South Korea. I follow the development and news articles about Songdo since a year or more. So I’ve went there with some certain expectations of a modern, green city, which is friendly to pedestrians. But I didn’t get the feeling like the short documentary  “Cities of Future: Songdo” by Cisco and an article by the Washington Post want to present. Read more of this post

PRT System to Open for Suncheon Bay Garden Expo

Update 2: The PRT has still not opened and Suncheon City said that it won’t begin operations until August. More information to come in additional post.

Update: The PRT line will not be opening as planned on April 20 and according to recent sightings at the venue, construction is still ongoing. Keep an eye out for updates.

Spring is not too far off and this April will see the opening of a new PRT(personal rapid transport) system in Suncheon Bay, a coastal eco-park in South Cheolla famous for its nature, wetlands and wildlife. The opening of the line will come sometime after the opening Suncheon Bay Garden Expo, an international festival which will be held for six months from April 20 to October 20. If you’re more interested in what the festival has to offer than the transport, check out the bottom of this post. Read more of this post


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