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

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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Alternatives Being Investigated for Wolmido’s Monorail

The fate of Incheon’s monorail, Wolmi Eunha Rail, lies in the hands of the Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) after a disastrous history since the line’s initial “completion” in 2009. According to this article from DongA News and several others, the KRRI will be investigating the safety of the line to decide whether it can be fixed and used, or whether the line will be altered and used a different way. 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

Suin Line from Oido to Incheon to Open June 30

2012 is a big year for rail transport around the country, with several extensions and new lines to be opened, many towards the end of the year. One of the new lines which will open a little sooner is the Suin Line(수인선). The first part of the line will open on the 30th of June  and runs from Oido(오이도) Station(Line 4) to Songdo(송도). Eventually the northern end will be extended to Incheon Station and the southern end to Suwon station. Incheon Metro Line 1 will also connect with the first section at Woninjae Station. It is estimated that the new line will serve approximately 150,000 passengers and trains will run more regularly on Incheon’s Line 1 to deal with the increased demand from transferring passengers. Read more of this post

Final Chance for Wolmido Monorail

In a previous post about the unoperational Everline, I mentioned the Wolmi Eunha (Galaxy) Rail and its demise. Though it appeared early last year that the end was nigh for Wolmido’s monorail, it has been given a last chance to get up and running.

Photo captured by Naver’s Road-view during a trial run in June 2010.

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Line Extensions: Line 7 to Reach Incheon

[Updated] Line 7, which is operated by SMRT(Seoul Metro Rapid Transport), is another line which has been gaining a lot of attention as it prepares to open an extension on the west-end of the line which reaches all the way to Incheon. The new addition is 10.2km long and is set to open on October 27, 2012 at 5:30am. Read more of this post


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