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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Urban Continuity - Susaek-Sangam project back on tracks (and over DMC Station tracks)

Seoul and Korail signed a MOU* to redevelop over 172,000 sqm now covered with tracks and railway installations, most notably Changdong Train Depot (65,000 sqm) in Nowon-gu**, and the DMC Station area (over 30,000 sqm), for which an operator should be selected by the end of the year.

I already stressed the importance of doing the right thing for the most crucial Susaek-Sangam connection in Mapo-gu (e.g. in "A solution to the Great DMC-Susaek Rift?" in the 3rd part of my 2013 focus on Songdo and the DMC ("Songdo, DMC: sequence is of the essence (Part III)").

The project will cover 27,000 sqm at Susaek Station + 3,500 sqm for DMC Station itself:

The latest rendering shows more green and openings than the one suggested in 2013, which reminded me of the Great Slab of Paris La Defense:

To ensure an even greater urban continuity between Susaek-dong and Sangam-dong / DMC, pedestrians should be able to cross Susaek-ro to the North as seamlessly as Seongam-ro to the South, and through this more porous ensemble.

This key railway hub (AREX Airport Express, Subway Line 6, Gyeongui Line train) should merge with its surroundings horizontally, unlike the initial, vertical, aerotropolis vision. Remember the old plans featuring a landmark tower, where international businessmen would only see Incheon Airport and the DMC during their trip to Korea? Even commuters should feel invited to reach beyond the hub, deep into Susaek and Sangam.

And ideally, the tracks could be covered further to the West and to the East, prolonging the
"Gyeongui Line Forest Trail - An Urban Lifeline" now in full bloom around Yeonnam-dong for its first operational summer.

(at Yeonnam-dong by day) Gyeongui Line forest trail got greener

(at Yeonnam-dong by night) Gyeongui Line forest trail by night now. Good to see so many citizens adopt it, even picnic on the lawn

Over the two years following that focus on the trail, my long gone "Busan Corner"*** has again changed at least twice. It just became a jewelry shop - how's that for gentrification?

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* see for instance "서울 수색역세권 본격 개발한다…'DMC역 구역'부터 시작" (Yonhap 20150727)
** among the 27 key redevelopments confirmed last spring (see "Diagonal crossings, High Lines, and Business Verticals (how pedestrians and businesses remodel Seoul... and vice-versa)" followed by "Urban Regeneration: 27 Projects For Seoul")
*** "Busan Corner on Taxi-daero"

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