The Korea Herald


Pedestrian-friendly areas planned for Seoul

Seoul’s first urban sky garden ‘Seoul-lo 7017’ to open in April

By KH디지털2

Published : Jan. 25, 2017 - 17:38

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The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced Wednesday its plan to launch pedestrian-friendly districts in the capital, starting with the April opening of an urban sky garden, a transformation of the defunct Seoul Station flyover to an elevated walkway.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said it would designate the new garden, dubbed “Seoul-lo 7017,” and streets in Jongno as pedestrian-friendly districts. Vehicles will be banned in such areas and the city government can fine those who drive there -- a first in the country.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon (Yonhap) Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon (Yonhap)
“(The launch of Seoul-lo 7017) will not only restore the overpass, but become a catalyst for the revival and regeneration of neighboring regions through the high number of visitors,” Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said. 

In 2012, Park pledged to transform the old overpass into a pedestrian park and create more pedestrian-friendly streets in the city, with the aim of boosting neighboring markets and preserving decades-old heritage. 

Since then, the city has so far established 20 crosswalks, 42 pedestrian-only streets and formed eight pedestrian-only zones, such as Yonsei-ro and Dehak-ro. Eight overpasses are awaiting removal starting this year. 

Touted as a rival to New York’s High Line Park, the green pedestrian park-turned-overpass Seoul-lo 7017 will stretch for about a kilometer and link seven surrounding areas including Seoul Station, Namdaemun Market and neighboring buildings to some 17 pedestrian walkways that feature 254 types of trees, shrubs and flowers from inside and outside Korea. There will also be performance stages, cafes, a library of plants, flower shops and street markets.

The “70” in the name Seoul-lo 7017 refers to the year 1970 when the Seoul Station flyover was constructed, while 17 is a reference to the number of walkways connected to it and the year 2017 when its construction is to be completed.

City officials also said it will complete construction in Jongno to extend bus-only lanes and reorganize walkways by the latter half of this year.

When this is completed, nearly 2.8 kilometers of road in Jongno will have at least 10 meter-wide bus-only lanes. Ventilation openings and other installations will also be removed from the pedestrian zone.

“By building more bus-only lanes and reorganizing the environment for crosswalks, it will be able to provide joy to people who walk in the area and keep traffic convenient for citizens, along with a cleaner townscape,” said Kim Jun-ki, an official from Seoul City’s public safety division.

By Kim Da-sol (