Thursday, June 27, 2019

Magok updates

Last month, ULI organized a presentation of Magok District, starting with an update by SH Corporation, and a visit of the recently inaugurated Seoul Botanic Park, the most significant addition to the puzzle since our 3-part, May 2018 focus (Framing Magok (Part I - Location) / Magok's horizontal verticals (Part II - Cluster) / Magok's lifespace (Part III - Environment)).

'Definitely a greenhouse, and the effect that comes with one. Inside Seoul Botanic Park / 서울식물원. Magok District Seoul' (20190528 -
As expected (see the second part of that focus), bringing big players in innovation proved much easier than building a diverse and open startup ecosystem, which requires among other things a vision, planning, and free urban spaces for creativity to bloom. SH decided to devote a stretch along the waterway to a more open neighborhood (명소화거리). Let's hope it will remain low rise, not overly scripted, and free from the usual storytelling and franchises. 

Like the MICE strategy, this happens very late in the process. I couldn't help but think about Canal Walk. Cornerstone hot spots like this new street or the Magok Square should be ready from day one, with the rest of the city revolving around them, not a just final touch supposed to add some sort of soul to a big development.

As I put it in the DMC-Songdo parallel, particularly for a New Town, 'sequence is of the essence'.

'Urban planning sans urban planning. This is where Magok District's 명소화거리 will rise. A potential cornerstone for the whole neighborhood, unfortunately added very late in the project, like Sondo's CanalWalk. Hope it will be low rise, not flashy, but sustainable' (20190528 -

Seoul Village 2019
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