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Architectural Spotlight

The Story Of New Songdo

The City of New Songdo or Songdo New City as it is known in Korea is the country’s bid to take city building into the future. City officials say that it will be a “compact, smart and green city,” at a press conference covered by The Korean Herald. Songdo is being built on reclaimed land in the western port city of Incheon, which is currently known more for the international airport, (which incidentally is rated one of the best in the world to fly through, and I can attest to from experience) S. New Songdo wants to change that and become known as a compact sustainable city that provides all necessary services in close proximity.

To achieve this goal the city will have facilities for business, health care, education, leisure, shopping and high tech industries all within a five kilometre radius. In the central city, residents will use bicycles or public transportation rather than cars to get around according to city officials, of course the six lane roads that form the block structure of the city and my experience with living in ‘green Ulsan’ (and its massive petrochemical complex) makes me wonder just how likely this assertion will be.

“(In the compact city,) all functions are located within the city center, unlike conventional cities which have a business complex in the center and the residential area in the suburbs,” Incheon Mayor Ahn Sang-soo said.

New Songdo residents may work in the 68-floor Northeast Asia Trade Tower that should be completed this year, or the 151-floor Incheon Tower set to to be completed in 2014. The city has a Central Park, which is Korea’s first park to have a seawater filled canal. Student in the city will go to “Songdo Global Campus,” which will host foreign universities like North Carolina State University and the State University of New York.

Incheon University Campus Proposal

The city is being wired by Cisco and will set up to allow residents to communicate through a variety of wired and wireless portals and devices based on ubiquitous computing technologies.

“The ‘smart’ city means a city equipped with ‘ubiquitous’ infrastructure that manages and control the city’s functions automatically at an optimal time. This enables the cost-effective management of the city,” Ahn said.

To learn more about New Songdo check out the article in The Korean Herald, or if you are interested in taking a look at the housing and office space options in New Songdo Check out our article on The Prau, or on The # First World. You can also take a look at what they are doing with container architecture.

A 100 million square foot new city on 1,500 acres. S

Commercial 40 million SF
Residential 35 million SF
Retail 10 million SF
Hospitality 5 million SF
Public Space 10 million SF



  1. […] and the Middle East in order to handle the world’s growing a urban population.  In Korea New Songdo is being used as a test case for a fully wired its city, and in the middle east Masdar is most […]

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