The greening of urban spaces is a trend across the globe, and Korea has proved, once more, it can ingeniously go one better. Upcycling a disused and rather unattractive series of flyovers and bridges crisscrossing Seoul, they have recently officially opened their garden Sky Bridge, known as Seoullo 7017 (in a nod to the original 1970 bridges’ 2017 reincarnation).
Now you can walk above the traffic, take in the contrasting sights of traditional and ultramodern Seoul, along 17 pathways, and enjoy snacks and traditional Korean fare at several eateries including one bistro offering craft beer and tasty bibimbap created by top chefs and the Seoul City Chef Association.
The Skygarden’s aim is to regenerate and connect places near the main railway station, fragmented by roads and railway tracks. Open to all, 24 hours a day, Seoullo 7017 is also part of a bigger set of ideas about taking a big, dense city, and giving it qualities of walkability, neighbourliness, human scale and shared enjoyment of its places.
To this end, the mayor has encouraged a range of public works and created the post of city architect to help make them happen.
The Skygarden is one of the more eye-catching examples of several initiatives promoted by the first holder of this job, Seung H-Sang, and his successor and ally Young Joon Kim.
Seoullo 7017 adds yet more unusual activities to be had for delegates descending on Seoul, and adds yet another unique twist for incentives in this unique capital city. The KoreaMICE Bureau is on hand to assist with programme ideas and more.
(images courtesy Seoul Tourism Organisation)