World’s first 10-minute city to be built in South Korea

The district could be built on the site of an abandoned 400-year-old royal palace

Plans have been unveiled for a city that, it is claimed, would be the world’s first 10-minute city. The project, entitled Royal Seoul, would be built in the middle of Seoul and have covered squares, multiple green areas and residential facilities. It would incorporate Singapore-style parkland but it is unlikely to materialise in the near future.

Philippe Starck: can he help solve London’s housing crisis? Read more

South Korea’s Hyundai Corporation is behind the plan, known as iCity, which is being backed by the city’s mayor, Park Won-soon.

“The design of iCity doesn’t only resemble a tree but it has a water shape and a human scale,” Hyundai’s South Korean unit told the Guardian. “All the features are aimed at attracting residents so that they can live there for an extended time period of time.”

The designers’ recommendations include full-sized brick and glass urban halls, large public spaces, and “memorable” buildings, such as the famous slopes of the Biltmore mansion. They also proposed parking and cycling lanes but no public transport options.

The district could be built on the site of an abandoned 400-year-old royal palace, which is used for holidays and art performances, as well as for concerts by students from the Nanyang Technological University.

The corporate said: “We would like to look for industrial zones near the area and possibly set up eco-friendly factories. Hyundai is seeking investors for industrial zones.”

But the project faces challenges. For a start, it could be hard to create decent office spaces in 10 minutes. But the biggest obstacle is that Hyundai Corporation cannot yet convince Seoul’s municipal government that the iCity scheme is feasible. A spokesman for the Seoul Metropolitan Government said: “We have not yet discussed the proposal with Hyundai.”

The project is currently undergoing a feasibility study. Park Won-soon told the local broadcaster KBS on Thursday that the system would be driven by an autonomous vehicle system. He said that Hyundai’s goal was to “unwind the entire country and create a perfect district in 10 minutes”.

Leave a Comment