City gov’t to put unused land to use for youths

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City gov’t to put unused land to use for youths


The Seoul Metropolitan Government’s released artists’ renditions, left, showcase the public housing planned to be built by 2022. [SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT]

The city government of Seoul announced on Thursday its plans to turn unused areas, including a rainwater pump station near Digital Media City Station in northwestern Seoul, into public housing geared toward young residents.

“An idle green space sitting in Yeonhui-dong [of Seodaemun District, western Seoul] and the rainwater pump station near the Digital Media City Station will be turned into public housing to be offered to the youth,” said Kim Sei-yong, CEO of Seoul Housing & Communities Corporation, a public corporation run by the city government, at a press briefing at Seoul City Hall in central Seoul on Thursday.

A plot of green land measuring 4,689 square meters (50,471 square feet) sits near the end of the Gyeongui Line Forest Park in Yeonhui-dong. The city government’s plan is transform the space into a seven-story public residential complex that can house up to 200 one-person households by 2022.

The complex will also house a library, restaurant, market, gym and a rooftop garden, according to the plan submitted by architect and principal of the Seoul-based Mass Studies, Cho Min-suk, who won the public contest to design the housing complex.

A bike road from nearby Hongje Stream will be extended to connect with the complex, according to the plan.

Also by 2022, the city government intends to build public housing geared toward young people on top of a 6,912-square-meter rainwater pump station near exit No. 5 of Digital Media City Station in the Eunpyeong District of northern Seoul. The rainwater pump station will continue to be operated under the complex.

“The plan is to build a deck on top of the rainwater pump station and to build the public residential complex on top of the deck,” the Seoul Metropolitan Government said in its statement on Thursday. “It will be a 13-story residential complex ready to house up to 300 one-person households, at least one laundromat, shared kitchen space, a gym and a supermarket.”

The bird’s-eye view rendering of the complex submitted by architect Lee Jin-oh of SAAI in Mapo District, western Seoul, who also won the public contest to design the space, shows an L-shaped building with terraced rooftops.

“We have consulted experts about addressing the possible noise and smell problems from the rainwater pump station,” the city government said in its statement. “And their reports say that it is feasible to address these issues, which we will.”

“Because we are utilizing idle space, the cost of constructing public housing in these areas should not be higher than our usual public housing projects,” Kim said. “The project in Yeonhui should cost within 50 billion won [$41 million], and the project near the Digital Media City Station should cost within 30 billion won.”

The city government intends to start construction for the two complexes in the latter half of next year.

“It is our goal to expand public housing in the city so that the proportion of public housing in Seoul will exceed 10 percent,” said Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon in a statement on Thursday.

“Public housing is a requisite for the young residents in Seoul to find a more affordable and stable living environment. We are hoping for the local residents’ wholehearted support for these projects.”

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