Towards a More Human Centered City: 2050 Seoul Grand Plan
17 May 2023
4.00 pm – 5.30 pm.
MND Annex A Function Room, 5 Maxwell Road, Singapore 069110
1.5 SIP CPD Pts, 2 BOA-SIA Pts.
Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. Please be seated 10 minutes before lecture begins, after which we will open the venue to walk-in guests.
Lecture Poster (PDF: 266 KB)
Lecture Slides (PDF: 26 MB)
Join us for a sharing on the 2050 Seoul Grand Plan, a visionary plan that boldly proposes and presents a step-by-step implementation plan for a comprehensive and future-oriented restructuring of urban infrastructure that has been constrained by institutional limitations and budgetary constraints. It includes a plan to transform the urban spatial structure, which has been partially improved since the 1970s. The plan aims to create a pedestrian-oriented daily life zone where people can work, live, and enjoy leisure activities on surface roads, and to connect disjointed spaces in a three-dimensional manner by integrating underground and deck railways. The plan also seeks to improve the quality of life and urban competitiveness by utilizing waterfront areas through a waterfront-centered land use. This will be followed by a moderated Q&A session.
The 2050 Seoul Grand Plan is an ambitious and forward-thinking strategy that aims to shape Seoul's urban landscape for the future. It envisions a city that adapts to the changing needs of its residents, accommodating flexible live-work patterns, emphasizing the importance of neighbourhoods in daily life, and providing ample spaces for leisure activities. Dr Kim shared about the three key areas of the plan: transforming waterways, reconstructing railways, and redesigning the road network, all with the ultimate goal of enhancing connectivity and increasing urban green spaces for the people of Seoul.
One significant aspect of the plan is the redesigning of road networks to prioritise pedestrian-oriented infrastructure and the creation of "100 mini-Seouls." These mini-Seouls would be designed as self-contained, walkable zones that cater to the new patterns of living, working, and playing. Each mini-Seoul would have its own waterfront areas, urban green spaces, healthcare facilities, libraries, sports and childcare amenities, and business centers. The objective is to improve the self-sufficiency of neighbourhoods, foster locality-specific ecosystems, and enhance their resilience to external pressures, such as public health threats.
Dr Kim said that sustainability is a core principle of the 2050 Seoul Grand Plan, with a focus on increasing shared urban spaces and urban greenery. By reconstructing railways, the plan aims to integrate the Northeast and Southwest regions, driving regional and spatial transformations while generating new value in the Northwest. The transformation will involve replacing elevated train tracks with underground routes, creating opportunities for parks, green spaces, and pedestrian paths at ground level. This is accompanied by proposals to construct platforms over train depots and surface expressways to create additional usable space above existing infrastructure. Train depots and expressways often act as barriers, dividing neighborhoods and impeding movement between different parts of a city. By constructing decks over such spaces, the proposal seeks to reconnect these areas, facilitating easier movement and enhancing connectivity, while also rejuvenating airspace above the spaces that would otherwise be unused. In addition, by creating new land over the train depots and expressways, the proposal envisions a renewed connection between the city and its waterfront parks, potentially leading to the development of waterfront promenades, recreational spaces, or other amenities that enhance the city's relationship with its riverside areas. Broadly, this addresses issues of urban fragmentation and promotes urban renewal.
Lastly, Dr Kim highlighted that revitalising Seoul's waterways is another crucial aspect of the plan. The 2050 Seoul Grand Plan seeks to improve accessibility to the waterways and enhance their distinct characteristics. Under-utilised waterfront areas would be transformed into vibrant spaces for everyday life, hosting cultural events along waterside parks. The riverside would be seamlessly integrated with the surrounding urban space, serving as a bustling hub for business, commerce, and tourism.
The 2050 Seoul Grand Plan sets a visionary path for Seoul, envisioning a future where the city becomes more interconnected, sustainable, and resilient. By embracing innovative strategies and prioritizing the well-being of its residents, Seoul aims to create a city that thrives and adapts to the evolving needs of its residents.
About the Speakers
Dr Inhee Kim
Director, Planning & Coordination Division,
Inhee Kim is the Director of Planning & Coordination Division at the
Seoul Institute. After receiving his doctorate Urban and Regional
Planning from the Technical University of Berlin in Germany in
2003, he has been working at the Seoul Institute since 2004. His
main research areas include urban planning and development,
residential renewal projects, metropolitan development plan, and
participatory planning. Most recently, Kim developed a strategical
plan for urban spatial development in the age of the New Normal,
established the 2040 Seoul Master Plan, and the 2050 Seoul Grand
Plan as a future vision plan. Kim has participated in numerous
international workshops for government officials and delivered
lectures at the Seoul Human Resource Development Center and
the International School of Urban Sciences at the University of
Centre for Liveable Cities
Mr Michael Koh has 25 years of experience in the public service
including 7 years as CEO of the National Heritage Board and 4
years concurrently as CEO of the National Art Gallery. He was
also the former Director of Urban Planning & Design at the Urban
Redevelopment Authority where he spearheaded the planning
and urban design of the new mixed use Downtown at Marina Bay,
revitalisation of Orchard Road as a shopping street and creation of
an arts and entertainment district at Bras Basah Bugis.
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