Vision of Transport in Seoul for 2030

Surprisingly, last week the Seoul Metropolitan Government published their vision for transport in 2030. This is going to lead the direction of transport planning in Seoul for almost two decades. The picture shows how the measures are divided: 1. people (red), 2. sharing (blue), 3. environment (green)

I’m going to introduce to you the most important ideas of each part and in the summary I’ll try to point out the most important problems which might hinder the realization of this vision. Read more of this post

New Generation of Trams

There aren’t any trams in Seoul since fifty years, but it doesn’t mean that Korea completely abandoned the idea of trams. Actually, Korea currently works on the development of new tram systems. In 2012 the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs decided to focus on one special kind of tram (via KBS):

The government has designated bimodal trams and magnet-embedded tracks as new transportation technologies.
Bimodal trams are built by applying railway technologies into buses. Bimodal trams are a new type of transportation that boasts the flexibility of buses and periodicity of trains. The trams are controlled electronically, provide a smoother ride for passengers, and can be automatically operated on dedicated tracks with magnets embedded in them.
The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs explained that such technologies are eco-friendly systems that could be used to replace light rail vehicles.

It’s great that South Koreal pursues development into this particular direction. There are some points which I would like to discuss: Bimodal trams, magnet-embedded tracks, replacement of light rail. We’ll start with the last one point. 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

History of Trams in Seoul

Most of you might not know that there was a streetcar running through the heart of Seoul in the last century because today there are no traces of rails or anything else left in the city. From the end of the 19th century until 1968 there were several tram lines running through the town. They got replaced by private vehicles and a subway system. A description how it was over 100 years ago gives us Andrei Lankov with his article “The rise and fall of the Seoul tram”. The article says that, as the first tram started operating on May 17 in 1899, Seoul became the second East Asian city with trams. Read more of this post

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