Seoul 2040 Comprehensive Plan Creates New 20-Year Urban Planning Framework

The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) in Korea has released a draft of the Seoul 2040 Comprehensive Plan to create a new urban planning framework for the city over the next 20 years. The Seoul 2040 Comprehensive Plan aims to create a “Local Seoul For Me, Global Seoul For All”.

The plan focuses on six major items:

  • First-and-last mile locality infrastructure – blurring the spatial division of residence, leisure and work by transforming areas based on first-and-last mile locality infrastructure. It aims to make citizens’ first-mile also their last-mile  – with residence, leisure, and work all interconnected and accessible within a 30-minute walk;
  • Fluvial water-centric infrastructure – 61 streams situated throughout the city will be transformed into waterfront spaces that enrich the daily lives of residents;
  • Urban functions of three municipal regions (downtown Seoul, Yeouido, Gangnam) – these will be promoted to enhance urban competitiveness;
  • Urban planning beyond zoning – rather than defining the city into residential, industrial, and green areas, the new approach will lead to greater autonomy in how areas are established with complex functional arrangements;
  • An undergrounding elevated railway – for increased public transport options and to create new urban spaces – not just above ground, but also underground; and
  • A new transportation infrastructure: to accommodate future-oriented modes of transportation, such as autonomous vehicles.

SMG states that the Seoul 2040 plan will create “flexible socio-spatial schemas” that reflect local social factors when it comes to urban land use. The plan will also focus on improving the quality of life of citizens and strengthening Seoul’s urban competitiveness.