There’s a growing trend among cities worldwide that we can definitely get behind: old highways and railways are being turned into urban parks for the masses to enjoy year-round. Seoul is the latest city to get an elevated park. Dutch architects MVRDV have designed the Skygarden, a half mile of green space to be built on an abandoned stretch of 1970s highway, and construction is set to begin in October 2015.
Traffic hasn’t graced the Seoul Station Overpass since 2009 (when it failed a government safety inspection), so the Seoul Skygarden is designed to make good use to the infrastructure in stages over time like New York City’s High Line. The government-led initiative plans to make the Skygarden part of the city’s efforts to build a more green, walkable landscape for its residents and visitors. With construction beginning this October, they anticipate the park will be complete for all to enjoy in 2017.
The Skygarden will serve as a nursery to trees that will eventually be planted to several rooftop gardens. MVRDV’s architects will built out satellite gardens within a radius of about 800 feet, and will expand another 800 feet about a year later. The pedestrian park design will eventually work its way into other parts of the city, and will contain around 254 species of Korean flora.
Photos courtesy of MVRDV
The coolest part about the Skygarden? The Korean tradition of clipping, cutting, and arranging landscapes in precise ways will be very much alive through the process of caring for the vegetation. Incorporating a tradition that doesn’t exist in other places for their city-specific park is a great way to highlight Korean culture while making it greener.
Like many other elevated city parks, the project will most likely also be a way to revitalize various parts of the city with shops, restaurants, and perhaps even condos and hotels nearby.
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What do you think of this elevated park plan?