For Students: Seoul Urban Design Competition

The Seoul government has launched an international design competition for students, “Toward Urban Integration.” The organizers seek a bold new vision for the  Jemulpo-gil expressway, which would involve building underground tunnels for cars and creating new sustainable spaces on the surface. Then, Seoul seeks to re-integrate the adjacent blocks with the new public spaces, resulting in a “eco-friendly” regeneration of the entire area. This is kind of a “Big Dig” / Rose Kennedy Greenway project for Seoul, a city of more than 10 million and one of the world’s most dynamic metropolises.

According to the organizers, Jemulpo-gil is an expressway that runs in an east-west direction from Youido, an island on Han river, to Shinwol IC (interchange) on the western edge of the city. The 55-meter wide 10-lane dual carriageway stretches some 8.4 kilometers. The competition site is any piece of Jemulpo-gil and the adjacent blocks east or west of the first section of the expressway between Shinwol IC and Mok-dong bridge.

The organizers write that the city is actually contemplating a bold revamp of the competition site: “The expressway has deepened the separation between the north and south sides and further deteriorated the living condition of the area. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has considered the idea of converting the surface of Jemulpo-gil to public space.” The city wants to do this to “reduce the heavy traffic,” enhance city life, and re-weave the frayed urban fabric.

The new public spaces could be parks, recreational spaces, or public buildings. Ideal solutions would “reconcile the public spaces with the local transportation.” The proposal, which could be conceptual or more practically-minded, would need to provide truly sustainable solutions for all components.

Submissions can come from any student or team of students in the world (the team can have a maximum of 3 people). Register by April 26 and submit by July 5.

Another competition worth checking out is the One Prize, an international open competition for building resilient cities. “This year’s competition is set in the context of severe climate dynamism.  How can cities adapt to the future challenges of extreme weather? The ONE Prize is a call to deploy sophisticated design to alleviate storm impact through various urban interventions such as: protective green spaces, barrier shorelines, alternative housing, waterproofing technology, and public space solutions.” The folks behind the prize directly ask landscape architects to submit proposals by August 31. First prize winners will take home $5,000. Check out the winners from last year.

Lastly, our friends at The Architect’s Newspaper have created City Terrain, a new newsletter on the innovations in landscape architecture and urban design. “Each week, City Terrain will compile our top stories in landscape architecture and urban design, coverage ranging from waterfronts and innovative streetscapes to water retention systems and green roofs. Game changing projects, green products, urban agriculture, ground-breaking parks–City Terrain will harvest our award winning coverage and serve it directly to our readers.” Sign up for the newsletter.

Image credits: Seoul Urban Design Competition

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