SEOUL, Feb. 22 (Korea Bizwire) – The Seoul Metropolitan Government is set to publish a white paper on urban restoration, outlining dozens of the city’s successful examples including Sewoon Electronics Plaza and Haebangchon.
The white paper, which will be unveiled sometime next month, documents know-hows and the process of urban restoration projects led by the Seoul government, under which areas with different history and characteristics were redeveloped.
The decision to release the book comes as the Seoul government hopes to take a leading role in restoring neglected areas in cities across the country.
Seoul’s urban restoration projects began around 2008 as part of an alternative to the overwhelming number of apartment complexes in the South Korean capital, which are often branded as ‘apartment forests’ and criticized for ruining the city’s view.
New development businesses in South Korea, in which old buildings are completely demolished, were a source of division between the government and local communities, up until 2012 when current Mayor Park Won-soon took office and began pushing for urban restoration projects.
Since then, a variety of projects have been designed in ways more coexistent with local residents, including a voting system to decide on details of building projects such as the number of stories, and whether to build privacy walls or not, for instance.
A number of large-scale projects include Seoullo 7017, an old highway-turned-sky garden in front of Seoul Station, and the MICE (Meeting, Incentive trip, Convention, Exhibition & Event) business surrounding the Hyundai Global Business Center.
The book also contains tips and lessons learned from first-hand experience including feedback from experts and interviews conducted with public officials, coordinators, and professors who were involved in the city’s previous projects.
Lee Chang-goo, a team leader at the Seoul Metropolitan Government who was in charge of the restoration project at Sewoon Electronics Plaza, says swift communication and feedback between parties involved are most important.
“Instead of just verbally trying to persuade business owners at Sewoon Plaza who were against installing an escalator, showing them examples of sales increase thanks to an escalator proved much more effective,” Lee said.
Hyunsu Yim (email@example.com)