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‘Doughnut’ design mulled for administrative capital

Nov 28,2005

Two of the winning entries in a contest to design the new administrative capital in South Chungcheong province. On the left, the design by Spanish architect Andres Perea Ortega, and on the right, Swiss architect Jean-Pierre Durig’s design.

In a novel bid to prevent traffic congestion in the nation’s new administrative capital, the government is considering modeling the city on a doughnut.
The Presidential Committee on Multifunctional Administrative City Construction, which is leading construction projects for the new administrative capital in the Yeongi-Gongju area, South Chungcheong province, recently disclosed the unorthodox architectural plans.
“Since the so-called ‘doughnut-shaped’ urban development plan had many advantages, such as reducing traffic volume, we are conducting extensive reviews to see whether the plan is feasible,” Lee Choon-hee, vice head of the presidential committee, said yesterday.
The panel held an international competition to design a blueprint for the new administrative capital, announcing 10 winners on Nov. 15.
Two of the winners, Swiss architect Jean-Pierre Durig and Spanish architect Andres Perea Ortega, suggested the doughnut-shaped urban sprawl, with central areas dedicated to public parks and other green areas, and residential and commercial areas circling the center.
Under the plans, almost all public transportation will be restricted to the outer ring. The development will lack the usual urban distinctions between downtown areas and outer areas, helping decrease the traffic volume and allowing people to arrive at any part of the 7.3 million-square meter (1,797-acre) city within 40 minutes, Mr. Lee said.
But a final decision has yet to be made, he cautioned.
“There are heated debates going on among experts on this blueprint for a doughnut-shaped city, and we are also reviewing the feasibility of the other eight winning plans,” Mr. Lee said.
The committee members are expected to reach a conclusion over which one of the 10 winners will be the final blueprint for the new administrative capital city by late December or early next year.


by Hoh Kui-seek


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