I recently received a message that came from Durban, South Africa. It was sent by the Deputy Mayor for Housing Policy, Jin Hee-seon, of the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
“I am currently attending the International Union of Architects World Congress in Durban, South Africa. I received the 2014 Sir Robert Matthew Prize, on behalf of the mayor, for the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s efforts to renovate Yeongdeungpo Flophouse Town, which our government pushed forward as part of the project to improve the living conditions of vulnerable urban social groups. Architects from all around the world congratulated and envied us for receiving the award. Seoul was the only local government to receive such an award.”
Improving the living conditions of the citizens of Seoul, rejuvenating the old and decrepit parts of the city, and improving the quality of the people’s lives are the challenges that we now face, and are important missions undertaken by architects all around the world.