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Seoul’s riverscape to undergo extensive transformation

9 March 2023, 13:19
Seoul’s riverscape to undergo extensive transformation Photo:

SEOUL. KAZINFORM - Seoul's riverscape is expected to undergo a sweeping change, as the city government on Thursday announced plans to build a host of new cultural, tourist, port and business facilities along the Han River, Yonhap reports.

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon unveiled the Great Han River Project Plan in a news conference, vowing to enhance the convenience and attractiveness of the Han River, which flows through the capital, to improve the quality of life of citizens and the city's urban competitiveness.

The plan calls for building a second Sejong Center for the Performing Arts and a cultural yard on Yeouido, a Han River island, beginning the construction of new marinas in the Jamsil and Ichon districts in 2025 and installing gondola cable cars over the river at locations that require transportation connections between Gangbuk (north of the Han River) and Gangnam (south of the river).

The operations of gondola cable cars will be linked to the urban air mobility (UAM) transportation system, with the city government aiming to complete the commercialization of UAM-based river tourism products in 2025.

The metropolitan government will also ease building and city planning regulations for riverside residential and office buildings to induce colorful skylines along the river.

First of all, it will abolish its height limit for riverside apartment buildings, currently set at 15 floors, following its decision a year ago to lift the 35-floor height cap for general residential buildings in downtown areas.

About 76 percent of the riverfronts of the Han River are residential areas and approximately 90 apartment complexes are expected to be rebuilt in the future.

Moreover, all new private development projects along the river will be permitted on the condition that new pedestrian bridges be built to the river under the city government's bid to strengthen river accessibility.

In the cases of existing and planned business districts in Yeouido, Yongsan and other areas, the city government said it will minimize their zoning and building height restrictions.

The project to transform the Jamsil sport complex in southern Seoul into a global MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) hub is scheduled to kick off late next year.

Besides the planned construction of Seoul Ring, the world's second-largest Ferris wheel, on a western riverside park, the city government will create a number of viewing spots all over the Han River.

The Jamsu Bridge, the lower level of the Banpo Bridge, will be converted into a combination of an over-the-river trail and a venue for small-scale performances and movie watching by 2026.

The city government will build footbridges on Nodeul Island, Seonyu Island and Seoul Forest and build or expand seven pedestrian passageways all over the river by 2030 to ensure that people can reach any riverside park within 10 minutes on foot from any riverfront area.

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