Seoul, South Korea is about to get its own version of New York City’s extremely popular High Line public park.
It’s called the “Seoul Skygarden,” and instead of a disused rail track, it will recycle an abandoned elevated highway.
“Skygarden” is an appropriate name for the new park. The plan is to incorporate about 254 different species of trees, shrubs and flowers along the half-mile, 55-foot high former highway overpass. The flora will be arranged in order according to the Korean alphabet, with the plan for the park to serve as an “urban nursery,” growing trees and other plants for the surrounding neighbourhoods.
It will also be jam-packed with tea cafés, flower shops, street markets, libraries, and greenhouses, according to a press release by the project’s architects, Dutch firm MVRDV.
The Seoul Station Overpass was first built in the 1970s to provide a connection to the a local point of trade, Namdaemun market. However, city inspectors deemed the elevated highway unsafe for vehicular traffic in 2006.
It was intended to be demolished before residents and local experts, after realising the projected economic benefits are nearly double what the park would cost to build and maintain, convinced the city to hold a design contest.
This is all similar to the High Line, where organised community groups created a nonprofit and lobbied for its construction, which then resulted in dramatically increased real estate prices.
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