New pedestrian road "Seoullo 7017" for a better walkable city - Preserving history and memory of Seoul through urban regeneration

New pedestrian road "Seoullo 7017" for a better walkable city - Preserving history and memory of Seoul through urban regeneration

SEOUL, South Korea, Oct. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- "Walkable Urbanism" is emerging as a new global standard for urban development. Today, how much the city provides a safe and comfortable walking environment is becoming important. Urban planners prioritize pedestrians and develop ideas about how to make their city a better walkable city.

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Seoul is also in line with these global efforts. One of the recent accomplishments is "Seoullo 7017" (hereinafter "Seoullo"). It is a 1,024-meter-long elevated pedestrian walkway opened on May 20th, 2017. It is built on the overpass that had served as a driveway for the past 45 years. Since its official opening, over 5,000,000 people have visited the Seoullo, making it the signature place for the city's walkable city initiative.

"7017" combines the number from "1970," the year the overpass was built, and that from "2017," the year of its rebirth as a pedestrian walkway. It also refers to 17 connected paths and the height of the road, which is 17 meters.

The area of the Seoul Station, where the Seoullo is located in, is a major gateway to/from Seoul where an average of 390,000 commuters and travelers every day are visiting. However, the area has long been isolated like an island, surrounded by roads for cars. Instead of the demolition of the overpass, the city regenerates it to create a pedestrian road and provides the right to walk to its citizens.

As the architect who designed the Seoullo, Winy Maas once said, "It is often compared to the Highline in New York, but it is different in many ways - The size and height as well as its context are very different. I think Seoul project is more interesting. I like the idea of reusing the overpass."

One of the interesting things about Seoullo is that the road is regarded as one big tree with its ramps as branches. Its 17 paths are organically connected, creating a network of the area. Its vision and strategy that transform a concrete structure into a space full of life have been praised for being future-oriented and innovative.

"Seoullo project is a new attempt to revitalize the underdeveloped downtown area and its surroundings," said Mayor Park Won-Soon. He also added, "We will make the Seoullo a place where people gather, which leads to the revitalization of the surrounding area."

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Young-yune Jang
Seoul Metropolitan Government  

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