Design for Seoul Station Overpass

seoulstationoverpassThe Seoul Station Overpass is going to close for traffic and transform to a public space until 2017. The project was inspired by New York’s High Line and it is mayor Park Won-Soon’s signature project. Seoul just ended an international design competition and they selected a winner.

This post gives you a preview of how the Seoul Station 7017 is going to look like. Secondly, this post is going to show that there are still some hurdles to take.

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Extension of Gwanghwamun Square


View from City Hall towards Gwanghwamun Square

Seoul puts a lot of effort to become a more human-centered and pedestrian-friendly city. It is a difficult and challenging process. In March, Seoul announced that they want to close the western side of the Sejong-ro in order to extend the Gwanghwamun Plaza. It means that 550 meters of street (six lanes) are going to be closed permanently for traffic. The south-bond direction on the Sejong-ro will be transformed to a public space. The project is expected to be completed until 2017 and it will cost around 62 billion KRW. Details for the design aren’t yet published. The budget isn’t secured yet as well. Seoul asked the national government to financially support the project but they got rejected. Read more of this post

Proposal for Seoul City Hall Plaza

This is a guest post by Ray Chetti. He is an urban planner by education and retail development consultant by profession. He is based in Seoul, Korea and working as a project manager at Reurbanist, a retail development consultancy that blends land use economics with urban planning and economic development to help public and private sector clients realize the potential of their retail project. Ray is the founding and head chair of the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Young Leaders Group (YLG) South Korea chapter, a global non-profit organisation that is responsible for bringing together like minded real estate professionals with the intent of sharing knowledge through events and gatherings in order to improve our built environments. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or reach him on Twitter @rjchetti.
Views expressed are his own.

Seoul Plaza_v1

I first thought of undertaking the Seoul Plaza Proposal by Reurbanist project about 2 years ago in 2013 when I was working full time at an office nearby to Seoul City Hall. Read more of this post

Traffic Safety and Public (Mis-)Education

This is a guest post by Max Neupert. He is an artist and academic who is interested in contemporary social and technological issues. He is a German citizen who has lived in Canada, Australia, Croatia, Bulgaria and is now based in Daegu, Korea. Max is member of ExtraEnergy, a non-profit consumer organisation for sustainable transportation with a focus on Light Electric Vehicles and electric assisted bicycles. Max is professor in the School of Fine Arts at Yeungnam University in Gyeongsan. You can reach him on Twitter @bauchhaus.
Views expressed are his own.

Part 1: Traffic safety and the education of the future motorist 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

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

More Entrances to Cheonggyecheon Stream

The Cheonggyecheon Stream is without doubt THE best practice of sustainable urban planning in Seoul. It replaced an inner-city expressway by an open space for citizens. Tourists love the stream and at night the atmosphere is really great. There’s of course no project without some negative sides. Among the critics are points like that the restoration didn’t really bring back a natural stream, archeological relics were ignored or even destroyed as well as people, who lived and worked in that area, were displaced. The public wasn’t consulted at all while planning the Cheonggyecheon restoration project. Today I want to discuss another, less famous problem even though everybody, who’ve been there, experienced it: Access to the stream was very limited.  Read more of this post

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Seoul is a very safe city in comparison to other ones of this size. However, it doesn’t mean that Seoul (or Korea) is free of crime and that there aren’t any improvements possible. Nowadays the biggest problem is the rise of sexual offences and harassment of women on streets. In the last decade the number of reported incidents related to sexual harassment doubled. Besides stronger punishment for sexual offenders, Seoul also offers the service to accompany women on their way back home at night. Police can’t be everywhere and guard every women, thus it’s necessary to find other ways to reduce crimes and to create an even safer city.

In 2012 Seoul launched a program to prevent crimes through environmental design. This project is also called “Root out Crime by Design” and it is deeply embedded with urban planning. The result of this program is summarized in guidelines, which I’ll try to introduce. You’ll see how this concept was tailored to Seoul and where you are able to find the program in full effect. Read more of this post

Keeping the Joongang Cinema in Pictures

Seoul is a very dynamic city and the built environment develops very fast. The changes can be through a new shop or restaurant, a new facade or even completely new buildings. Old buildings get torn down and replaced by new ones in a blink of an eye, at least it feels like that. With this post, I want to capture one place and share with you: The Joongang Cinema (중앙시네마) is a movie theater in Myeongdong, downtown Seoul.


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Suggestion for Sejong-ro’s Car-Free Day

After I saw that it’s possible to propose events for the car-free day at Sejong-ro, I thought about an idea. I tried to make a suggestion which has nothing to do with a market or events which you could experience in other famous places of Seoul. So here’s my personal suggestion. Read more of this post


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