Seoul, City of Coexistence
See & Do Tours
A population of 10 million resides in the 605.20 km2 plot of land that is Seoul. On top of that, a great number of commuting workers, tourists, and visitors can be seen coming into the city every day. But ironically, as more people gather, boosting and advancing the economy in the process, the city itself gets sicker. With the recent influx of tourists and rapid gentrification, megacities around the world have been starting to feel the consequences. They’ve been struggling under the growing weight of litter, air pollution, and the rising cost of rent. As a result, cities around the world have striving harder to transform their spaces, putting more focus on urban restoration. How has Seoul, one of the top 10 cities of the world, been faring with this issue?
Seoul has been making continuous efforts and brainstorming ideas about how to transform the city. “20 New Spots in Seoul” is a leading example of Seoul’s urban restoration projects. Dead spaces have been revived to create new type of spaces with potential to promote the growth of manufacturing industries where collaboration of creativity and skill between the youth and old can lead to sustainability.
Seoul started the “20 New Spots in Seoul” project with hopes of bettering the daily lives of the 10 million residing within its limited spaces.
Just like humans, cities also undergo transformation. Seoul responded to the urbanization of its city by trying to infuse more vitality into it. In an effort to connect the past and future and revitalize the city, 20 different spaces were selected to become venues for cultural events and made to become a part of “20 New Spots in Seoul”, an urban restoration project.
"20 New Spots in Seoul" symbolizes the connection of its past and future. It’s not about breaking down the old and building new things on top of it. It’s more about reusing what’s already there and building up from it, making it more sustainable for our future.
As the weather warms up, visitors are encouraged to go and directly see and experience the spaces themselves. Here are 3 of the 20 places to visit this spring.
Size of 22 soccer fields / 5 tanks / 69,070,000 liters of oil reserves
Public access to this location has been restricted for almost 41 years before it was reborn as a part of the city's urban restoration project. Built in 1973, the Mapo Oil Depot was closed down in 2002 for safety reasons. But with suggestions from the residents, it was transformed into the Oil Tank Culture Park in 2013. This particular example became a symbol of the urban restoration project and the Oil Tank Culture Park currently stands as one of Seoul's newest landmark.
Parks, stages, and recreational fields make up the outer areas while cafes, lecture halls, and meeting rooms make up the inner. Constructed out of glass, the T1 Glass Pavilion is a place where the past and future coexists together, making it a popular spot to shoot movies or dramas.
Constructed in1968 / 9 floor building / Korea’s 1st Mixed-use Building
People often joked that you could construct a tank or missile from all the parts found within Sewoon Shopping Center. Sewoon Shopping Center has been reborn as the central hub of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, bringing together the traditional skills of master artisan with the new techniques of the younger generation. Visitors approaching the renewed shopping center are greeted with the sign, “Makercity Sewoon”, which aptly describes the place for all the production, manufacturing, residential and commercial business going on in this complex.
Sewoon Shopping is...
1. A place of new industrial revolution: A central hub of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
2. A place to walk along the Seungyo Bridge: A walkway connects Jongmyo to Namsan.
3. A restored community filled with smiles: A group of residents work hard to restore the area.
1024m height / 66 types of 645 circular pots and vases
Designed by the world famous Winy Maas, Seoullo 7017 is another successful example of an abandoned place becoming one of Seoul's landmarks.
1) Magnolia Café 2) Rose Bingsu 3, 4) Seoullo Travelers' Cafe
Constructed as an overpass back in the 1970s, it came to receive a ‘D’, the worst mark for a safety inspection. Everyone expected this safety hazard to be torn down and rebuilt. Instead, it has been renovated for purposes of urban restoration and in 2017, transformed into a walkway for the residents of Seoul. Cafes, restaurants, facilities, guided tours, exhibitions and many spaces for various cultural events can be found along the Seoullo 7017.
Seoullo 7017 brings up a whole new meaning to the term of urban restoration. It’s not about just making a new space for the people. By bringing in trees and flowers and transforming this space into a botanical garden, this place was able to become so much more as it successfully integrated itself into its surrounding urban landscape.
It was able to transform from an old, unstable space into a more educational, productive, greener area for the people of Seoul.
Learn more about 20 New Spots in Seoul