Time has passed so fast that it is already the second half of 2020. Unfortunately, COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing. Nevertheless, people have been adapting to a new lifestyle. How will our lives change in the second half of 2020? Seoul has announced the “2020 Changing Life in Seoul.” This plan consists of 4 areas and 26 projects. In particular, the public space and facilities that are planned to open in months are worth taking a look.
E-book link for “2020 Changing Life in Seoul” (Korean version)
A Safer City
|Transforming 1.5KM of Sejong-daero Into “Streets for Pedestrians” (Dec 2020)
|Toegye-ro Pedestrian Friendly Space Reorganized (Oct 2020)
|Line Number 5 Extension “Hanam Line” (Dec 2020)
|Cheonho Underpass Flattening & Central Bus-only Lane (Aug 2020)
|Expanding Safe Speed 5030 policy to whole of Seoul (Jul 2020)
By December, 1.5 kilometers of Sejong-daero(from Gwanghwamun intersection to Seoul Station) will be reborn into Seoul’s “Streets for Pedestrians.” This project includes reducing the current 9~12 lane road to 7~9, building new cycling roads, parking space for shared vehicles, and a street forest in Sejong-daero.
(A bird’s eye view of Seoul’s “Street for Pedestrians”)
Seoul is currently working on the “Road Space Reorganizing Project,” which plans to transform 22 main roads in the green transport promotion zone into a desirable walking space. This is a part of the “Walkable City Seoul” campaign and for this year, Toegye-ro, Eulji-ro, Sejong-daero, Chungmu-ro, Changgyeonggung-ro are looking forward to being transformed. In April, the first section of Toegye-ro(Seoul Overpass to Toegye-ro 2-ga) finished its construction, and when the construction of the second section is finished, all of Toegye-ro will finish its reorganization.
In December, the extension of metro line number 5, “Hanam Line,” will be constructed. 5 new stations will be added in total, which are Gangil, Misa, Hanam Pungsan, Hanam City Hall, Hanam Geomdansan. From this extension, the residents of Gangil and Misaji-gu are expected to have better access to urban areas. The first section(Misa and Hanam Pungsan station) will be opened in August, and the other stations will be opened by december. Also, to foster a more comfortable walking environment, the ground flattening process of Cheonho underpass will be initiated and finished by August, along with the implementation of a speed limit of 50 Km/h in main roads, and 30 Km/h in side streets.
An Affectionate City
|Further Emergency Aid from Seoul for the COVID-19 Pandemic
|1st and 2nd “Hub-type Caring Center” (Sep 2020)
|Mother & Infant Health Service Aid for Low-income Households (Jul 2020)
|Seoul Social Service Agency Establishes Public Reliable Child-care Centers
|Seoul Social Service Agency Operates New Day care centers (Jul 2020)
|Original Form of DILKUSHA Restored Opened for Exhibition (Dec 2020)
Seoul has alleviated the standards for receiving emergency aid in order to deliver more aid to households that are struggling to meet basic needs. The new standards will be enacted from the 1st of July, and freelancers, or anyone who is self-employed or on unpaid leave can apply for the aid if they earn under 100% of the median income(previously 85%) and own less than 326,000,000 KRW(previously 257,000,000). This aid can be applied by visiting the nearest community center.
Two hub-type caring centers will be opened in September in Seoul after a year of preparation. These centers are aimed to provide art and cultural experience to children and to provide space where children can freely play around.
1st Hub-type caring center(left) and 2nd Hub-type caring center (right)
The first hub-type caring center will open in Sangaedong, Nowon-gu, and the second will open in “Space sallim,” which is located in Daebangdong, Dongjak-gu. Any children residing near these centers are allowed to use these centers, and the qualifications and application for the use of each services will be available on https://icare.seoul.go.kr/icare/index.do.
In December, 5 old metro stations(Jongno 5(o)-ga, Dongdaemun, Sinseol-dong, Yeongdeungpo Market, Gunja) will be remodeled to become “Art and Cultural Rail Stations.” This project aims to eliminate reckless commercial advertisements and offer citizens an opportunity to experience art and culture in their everyday lives. In particular, Yeongdeungpo Market station, and Gunja station will be a specialized pilot project area, where creator markets, lounges, and an open art museum will be opened. Also, Seoul has successfully restored the original form of DILKUSHA, a modern building constructed during the Japanese colonial period, which holds important value. DILKUSHA is currently located at the North of Sajik tunnel in Jongno-gu, and is planned to be opened to the public by December. DILKUSHA means “A palace for the happy mind” in Sanskrit, and it is an important place for Koreans, because it is the place where Albert Taylor, an AP journalist who first reported Korea’s March 1st independence movement to the world, lived.
A Dreaming City
|Self-driven Shuttle Buses Coming Soon (Jun 2020)
|CO-Station(Seoul Design Startup Center) (Jul 2020)
|Seoul Youth Center Dongdaemun (Aug 2020)
|Youth Art Center (Aug 2020)
|Startup Sophistication Center(tentative name) (Oct 2020)
|Seoul Seongbuk Media Culture Center (Oct 2020)
|Yongsan “Child-Youth Art Education Center” (Oct 2020)
In the second half of 2020, many youth/startup/media supporting facilities are planned to open. To begin with, Seoul Youth Center Dongdaemun will open in August. Seoul Youth Center Dongdaemun will support various activities, offer consulting and inform important Youth supporting policies to young people. If Seoul’s current “Youth Zone(also known as No gravity zone)” focused more on supporting youth community activities, “Seoul Youth Center” focuses more on providing consultation space, single-person startup space, and shared kitchens.
Also, Youth Art Center, located near Chungjeong-ro youth houses, seeks to become a community focused area for young artists to communicate and seek growth together.
Furthermore, in July, in order to support “design/art” related young people. “Seoul Design Startup Center” will be created close to the complex near Hongik University station. Personal office space and various startup incubating programs will be offered to young design entrepreneurs and design startups less than 5 year olds.
(A bird’s Eye view of Startup Sophistication Center)
What’s more, “Startup Sophistication Center(tentative name)” will be ready to open around October. Startup Sophistication Center aims to support promising innovative startups to transform them into global unicorn companies. As an excellent startup growth/sophistication supporting facility, this hub will be located inside of Chang-dong Aurne(Northeast generation-uniting complex), and lead the Northeastern startup environment of Seoul. Tenant companies will be selected by recommendation of private investors and qualification screening and then decided by August. In addition, Seongbuk Media and Culture Center will be opened in Gireum-dong, Seongbuk-gu, to give citizens an opportunity to directly experience and use media.
A bird’s eye view of Seoul Seongbuk Media and Culture Center
Moreover, 3 self-driven shuttle buses will be operated in Sangam for citizens to directly experience self-driving mobilities. Anyone who registers through https://topis.seoul.go.kr/ are can take a ride for free.
A Breathing City
|New Policy Makes Plastic bags and bottles to be disposed in separate days
|Songijeong Sports Park Plans to Reopen in September
|Namsan Yejang Jarak Restoration Project
Starting from this year, one story houses can only dispose plastic bags and plastic bottles on Thursday or Friday. For apartments, transparent plastic bottles have to be disposed on a specific day decided by each apartment. This policy requires strong cooperation from citizens, and expected to reduce waste in waste screening fields.
A Poster on How to Dispose Recyclable Products.
Songijeong Sports Park
Songijeong Sports Park. located in Junglim-dong, Jung-gu, plans to finish its remodeling and be opened to the public by September. As a park specialized in marathons, running tracks, walking tracks, and running center will be newly constructed. Songgijeong Memorial Hall and Children’s library will also be reconstructed. Since May 27th, the running tracks, a multi-use field, and a Children's library have opened. The running center and Songijong memorial hall seeks to have their grand opening in September.
Also, Namsan Yejang-Jarak finally becomes a park for citizens. The previously existing buildings, Tbs for instance, have been demolished for the newly created walking trails, restoring the old landscape of Namsan.