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

Let’s Propose Events for Sejong-ro

After I’ve published the post yesterday, I saw at The City 2.0: Seoul’s Facebook page that there is an event regarding the events at the Sejong-ro. Citizens can propose what they want to see and experience on the car-free Sundays. This event goes from Jan 29th to March 15th. Let’s take a look at some answers and maybe the one or the reader might share a great idea with us or Seoul’s city officials.

idea-competition

It asks “What can we do at Gwanghwamun in Seoul’s center?”

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Sejong-ro as a Pedestrian Zone

On Sunday, November 18th, I went to downton Seoul because I wanted to see Sejong-ro without any traffic. The road Sejong-Ro (between Gwanghwamun-Station and the actual Gwanghwamun) was closed on one side, which was the second time for this purpose. Our last post contained this measure under point 1: The city government plans to close the road in that one direction now on every third Sunday of a month. Back in November, it was a really great experience and I took a lot of pictures. Read more of this post

Vision of a Pedestrian-Friendly Seoul

Since 2011, Park Won-Soon is the mayor of Seoul and as you may know, he puts the citizen into the focus of his policies. In terms of traffic, he emphasizes walking and urban spaces. Pedestrians are a very important transport method in his view. Park Won-Soon himself introduced the concept for a more pedestrian-friendly city on January 22nd. Read more of this post

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

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