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Sunday, December 25, 2022

Seoul Innovation Park on steroids

We've already seen Eunpyeong-gu's former KCDC site mutate into a makers' hub*, a vibrant Nokbeon-dong neighborhood park, and a cultural crossroads** in an underprivileged part of Seoul. Now the city wants to turn this low rise oasis into its gazillionth high rise utopia.

Meet the new and improved Seoul Innovation Park:

Quite a change from nowadays:

"Vegan Festival in Seoul Innovation Park, Eunpyeong-gu." (@theSeoulVillage 20170511-

Okay, all cars shall be parked underground instead of these traditional outdoor sprawls, plus there's also going to be this manicured 'Seoul UIC Campus' (University of Seoul Industry Cooperation), but that's not the same as a laid-back park full of happy families:

As you well know, I'm all for fixing the capital city's unbalances, and Northeast Seoul clearly deserves a boost. Besides, the city already owns this 110,000 sqm site, and it's next to a subway station (Bulgwang Station), close to the Yeonsinnae transport hub (Subway Lines 3 and 6, GTX-A - see "GTX, meet Sinbundang Line"). 

But not exactly there. And we've already seen this not so disruptive concept of futuristic, buzzword-friendly city within the city, with its iconic landmark tower - here, 60 more floors to be filled in a market already suffering from oversupply. Yet another empty alibi for yet another real estate nonsense (many 'apateu' have already risen nearby)? And of all models, why pick the COEX as a symbol of success? 


Needless to say, the grove with its old trees at the entrance, under which kids would play and seek fresh shelter in the Summer, is gone. From the outside, this could be any mall:

This time, it's different, they say. We go 'beyond zoning', we're truly mixing commercial, residential, and business. And this time, promise, we'll build and startups will come. SH Corporation will make sure a diversity of people build a genuine community, a 'Golden Village' where elderlies, newlyweds, single households share the same spaces with all facilities required in changing times.

Sincerely hope that flies but frankly, Seoul, you can do better.

"Seoul's project for Seoul Innovation Park (Nokbeon-dong, Eunpyeong-gu)? A coex-ish hub, very Oh Sehoon-ish urbanism:" (@theSeoulVillage 20221220 -

Seoul Village 2022
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* starting with Seoul Creative Lab and Hyebin's FabLab:

"Always nice to visit Seoul Innovation Park's FabLab! Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul." (@theSeoulVillage 20161207 -

** including, most recently, SEMA Storage in a former KCDC warehouse (see "Nine new museums in Seoul by 2023")

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