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Korea Is Building The City Of The Future On An Artificial Island

25 Jun
VNREThe most exciting real estate project in the world is already alive and breathing on an artificial island in the Yellow Sea. It’s called Songdo International Business District, a high-tech, post-modern, green utopia.

Planned business districts like London’s Docklands and Shanghai’s Pudong are usually placed to maximize convenience for workers to get to work and other existing office areas. But South Korea is investing tens of billions of dollars to build a new city in the sea.

The reason is that Songdo aims not to be a hub for Korea, but a hub for all of Asia. Songdo is envisioned an aerotropolis. The island is positioned for easy access to Incheon International Airport via a seven-mile-long suspension bridge. South Korea is betting that for hyper-mobile global corporations, connectedness to other business hubs overseas will be a lot more important than the local area.

The city is only nominally Korean. The lingua franca of Songdo is English. The school is projected to be 70% non-Korean. Even the city plan adopts elements of foreign cities. From their website:

Songdo IBD boasts the wide boulevards of Paris, a 100-acre Central Park reminiscent of New York City, a system of pocket parks similar to those in Savannah, a modern canal system inspired by Venice and convention center architecture redolent of the famed Sydney Opera House.

If Songdo is without history and sense of place, but it’s also the first city-sized green building project. The city is 40% green space and the transportation infrastructure encourages bicycling and walking. The entire project is built according to LEED standards.

It’s also a fully wired city. The developers teamed up with Cisco to provide TelePresence in every home, office, school and hospital in the city.

Sounds like science fiction? Or a waste of money? Songdo is still a few years away from completion, but according to developers Gale International, 22,000 of the expected 65,000 permanent residents have already moved into the city and more are expected to come. China is also planning on building new cities modeled after Songdo. Perhaps this isn’t so outlandish after all.
Reported by Vincent Trivett | Business Insider