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Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Towns and preservation

Seoul Mayor OH Se-hoon is not so popular with New Town developpers and fellow party members such as CHUNG Mong-joon. New projects got stalled for not being enough environmental friendly (OH is pushing for more preservation, especially for green spaces) or "middle class" oriented.

I wish the urban soul were more respected as well. This city definitely needs a better ventilation and more streets to be upgraded, but whole areas are dying from minor but tragic losses in diversity, or because a secondary alley was bulldozed, a key detail destroyed, a unique perspective ruined.

In general, there is no trace whatsoever of the village that existed before the New Town. Promoters don't want potential buyers to be reminded this brand new and well serviced appartment complex used to be a slum or a sewer treatment center, but a city without history nor memory doesn't have any future.

People don't care now but they will. Appartments used to be consumer goods purchased for the brand and the short to medium term added value... status items as superficial as a car when it comes to defining who you are and how you live.

"Well being" is becoming an issue, but then again, totally vain. A check list of functions similar to a luxury pack on your car. More about "sounding / looking well" than about "being / living a good and sound life".

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