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  • Finding Uses for Unused Spaces through Citizen Idea Competition

  • Urban Planning News SMG 4726

    The Forgotten Spaces Competition hosted by the Royal Institute of British Architects is an annual idea competition, in which entrants seek out abandoned places in London, such as subway stations, gas storage facilities, or culverts, in an attempt to redefine them by proposing ideas on how they could be developed in the future. Many architects, landscape architects, and artists participate in the competition every year.

    Benchmarking the UK’s Forgotten Spaces Competition, the Seoul Metropolitan Government now asks Seoul citizens and experts to submit their ideas on how to transform neglected and underused spaces in Seoul, such as spaces underneath overpasses, empty spaces in subway stations, and pedestrian paths.

    Offering a total of KRW 20 million in prizes, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will hold a competition titled “Creating a Space for Everyone: Competition for Citizens and Students 2012,” and will be accepting applications and related materials from May 18 to 22.

    Entrants must seek out any public spaces that are underused, including: spaces underneath overpasses, open public spaces, pocket parks, old historic structures, or pedestrian paths that are open to the public.

    The competition is composed of two categories: Citizens’ Ideas and Students and Experts.

    Citizens’ Ideas: Any citizen is eligible to enter this category of the competition and may submit an explanation of their ideas with simple sketches or documents regarding similar cases in other cities or countries.
    Online submissions: http://mediahub.seoul.go.kr

    Students and Experts: Students and experts in urban, architecture, or design may submit their ideas with an explanation of the space they are interested in redefining, along with a specific plan to reuse the space, such as a concept or basic floor plan. Entrants must submit their applications in person at the new Seoul City Hall.

    After an evaluation, the winners will be announced in June. The first-prize winners will receive the Seoul Mayor’s Award and a cash prize (KRW 1 million for Citizens’ Ideas, KRW 5 million for Students and Experts). The winners will be announced at a special exhibition of the winning works.

    Category Number of Works Citizens’ Ideas Students and Experts
    1st Prize 1 KRW 1 million KRW 5 million
    2nd Prize 2 KRW 500,000 KRW 2 million
    3rd Prize 3 KRW 300,000 KRW 1 million
    Participation Prize 10 KRW 100,000 KRW 300,000
    Selections Many Gift Certificate (KRW 30,000) Gift Certificate (KRW 50,000)

    Examples of Reusing Public Spaces with Ideas from the Competition

    1_올드위치 역(물이 흐르는 수영장)

    Aldwych Station (Swimming Pool with Flowing Water)

    2_보행통로(포스터 역사 전시)

    Pedestrian Paths (Poster Exhibition in Stations)

    Forgotten Space Exhibition in UK





    Brixton Central Square, UK


    Small Piece of Land → Turned into a Resting Space


    Rarely Used Station → Turned into an Art Gallery