❍ Date: 2016. 1. 28 (Thu) 10:00-11:30
❍ Where: Sewoon Shopping Mall Central Square
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, it’s good to see you all here.
I really appreciate all of you for coming to this special event, the launch of the Sewoon Shopping Mall Regeneration Project, despite the cold weather.
I was given the opportunity to meet you at this very spot last November. I am very honored to be announcing the launch of the Sewoon Shopping Mall Regeneration Project in the presence of you, the local residents.
Last week, I participated in the Davos Forum, which was held in Switzerland. Under the theme of “The Fourth Industrial Revolution,” I spoke with other global leaders on topics including new industrial revolutions and city development.
Particularly, I presented the case of Seoul, to prove that it is possible to regenerate the city by employing the existing infrastructure instead of massively demolishing run-down buildings. I also spoke of how regeneration can also be accomplished by preserving the lifestyle of the local residents, the history, and the environment during the “Leaders Meetings on Infrastructure and Urban Development” and “The Soul of the City” sessions. Additionally, overseas experts informed me of a number of admirable efforts happening abroad. The event served as a valuable opportunity for me to develop my understanding of the feasibility of the urban renewal of Seoul, a step in the right direction towards a people-centered city. Today, it is my pleasure to be here at the Sewoon Shopping Mall to take the first big step towards the regeneration of Seoul thinking the meaning of “Sewoon”.
The Sewoon Shopping Mall, which will be rebuilt today, was home to “The Third Industrial Revolution” of Korea and Seoul in the 1970s. From this day onward, the Sewoon Shopping Mall will be reborn as the driving force behind “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
It will be born again through the Urban Renewal and Regeneration Project of Seoul.
Have any of the young journalists gathered here today ever been to the Sewoon Shopping Mall?
When I was young, I often came here to buy electronic devices and vinyl records. Befitting its name “Sewoon,” which means “attracts all the energy of the world,” the complex enjoyed a great economic boom after its completion in 1972.
Back then, the Sewoon Shopping Mall was called the “Center of Electronics.” People even said that the technology at Sewoon Shopping Mall was so advanced that it could produce a tank. Truly this place was the center of cutting-edge technologies at that time.
But when I came back here as a mayor, I found this place to be a decrepit area in Seoul, suffering from the downside of a sweeping urban redevelopment plan usually entailing widespread demolition.
The neighborhood surrounding the Sewoon Shopping Mall, which had once operated like an extended factory, now could barely sustain itself. A staggering 75 percent of the businesses in the Sewoon Shopping Mall had shown a decrease in sales.
Long before I was elected as the Mayor of Seoul, there had been continual attempts to revitalize the Sewoon Shopping Mall, but for various reasons, the plans always fell through. Local residents who looked forward to its renewal became increasingly concerned and ended up losing their faith in the local government.
As Mayor, I feel responsible and remorseful for causing such distress.
But I say to you now, you do not need to worry anymore. Today, I am glad to announce that the project has already started and we will do everything in our power to ensure it is completed.
Over the past year, since the plans for the Sewoon Shopping Mall Regeneration Project were announced on February 24th, 2015, we have been making a number of important preliminary steps.
Listening to the citizens is the most important responsibility of civil servants. In accordance with this duty, the Sewoon Shopping Mall Regeneration Project began by listening to the residents who have preserved the Sewoon Shopping Mall amid doubt and suffering.
We set up an around-the-clock communication channel in efforts to gather a variety of opinions from local residents.
We implemented a system called “portrait interview” in hopes of forming closer ties with local residents and allowing them to have their opinions heard..
The portraits hanging on the pillar built in the Sewoon Green Belt Park are pictures that were inspired by listening to the residents’ opinions.
All of the valuable opinions of the residents were reflected into the design of the public space. Although the prize-winning design was selected through the International Design Competition last June, I firmly believe that you residents are the real architects of the new Sewoon Shopping Mall.
It was important for us to ascertain the absolute best way of implementing the Sewoon Shopping Mall Regeneration Project. For this purpose, an advisory group and forum, which consisted of experts in a variety of fields including culture, arts, architecture, and industry, was formed.
During the BBP (Beyond Big Plans) International Conference, global experts in the field of urban renewal visited the Sewoon Shopping Mall and submitted their ideas.
We also wanted to attract as many people as possible to the area, right? To do this we held events to show people the uniqueness of the Sewoon Shopping Mall.
The Sewoon Shopping Mall held a special fashion show, a “stroll down memory lane” event that reminded people of the 1970s and 1980s.
Also there was an exhibition by young artists who made their work using materials available at the Sewoon Shopping Mall.
With these efforts, the voice for hope began to be heard in the Sewoon Shopping Mall.
For the last year, many people I met while preparing for the Sewoon Shopping Mall Regeneration Project told me the same things.
We want to show the world that the Sewoon Shopping Mall is still strong.
We must recover its potential.
We want the Sewoon Shopping Mall to regain its vitality.
Seoul Metropolitan Government has made an effort to seek the right way for the regeneration of the Sewoon Shopping Mall to fulfill the hopes and expectations of many people.
In line with the global paradigm shift from “demolition and redevelopment” to “regeneration” regarding urban development, we have changed our direction towards valuing the lifestyle of the local residents, the surrounding environment, and its historic and cultural virtues.
We decided to execute this project with an aim to preserve the history and virtues of the Sewoon Shopping Mall area and bring back its vitality. To this end, we will revitalize the area not by “demolishing and reconstructing” it, but by “repairing and reusing” it.
The concept of repairing and reusing the Sewoon Shopping Mall is in line with solutions to boost the global economy.
The world is undergoing the fourth industrial revolution, which is leading to a focus on creating a growth engine for the economy of the future.
A flexible and efficient production system that moves beyond mass production through automation has become a competitive edge in the manufacturing industry.
At the heart of this trend lie the Maker Movement and manufacturing startups which pursue collaboration and convergence by employing ICT such as 3D printers and IoT (the Internet of Things).
An American Manufacturing Renaissance is invigorating the U.S. economy. The White House hosted the Maker Faire, which demonstrates that the U.S. government is increasingly interested in and supportive of manufacturing innovation.
Just look at China. Guangdong Province launched a comprehensive project for fostering Makers, and the city Shenzhen, which has a manufacturing ecosystem that is similar to the ones seen in the Sewoon Shopping Mall, is emerging as a center of manufacturing entrepreneurship.
Can the Sewoon Shopping Mall not compete with Shenzhen? I say it can. The Sewoon Shopping Mall is fully prepared to take the initiative in innovating urban manufacturing.
Highly skilled craftspeople are gathered at the Sewoon Shopping Mall. They can build or fix anything you might need to start a business or create a new product. The Sewoon Shopping Mall has ties with a variety of industries in neighboring areas, which allows it to serve as an innovative center that spurs the convergence of the manufacturing industry.
Many people have gained resources from the Sewoon Shopping Mall to start their own business and create new products. It was Makers and startups who first saw this potential and started their businesses in the Sewoon Shopping Mall.
Innovative and creative young Makers and entrepreneurs will continue to capitalize on the resources and technologies that the Sewoon Shopping Mall has to offer, taking the lead in establishing a culture of creativity and innovation.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s been a long time coming but the wait is over.
During the era of manufacturing innovation, to make the Sewoon Shopping Mall the center of Seoul and the world, to attract all the energy of the world, I would like to announce that the launch of the Dasi (Again)·Sewoon Project.
We will preserve the values of the Sewoon Shopping Mall and restore its vitality by embarking on the project under three themes: “Walk Again Sewoon,” “Visit Again Sewoon,” and “Smile Again Sewoon.”
The Sewoon Shopping Mall will undergo a dramatic change in its appearance.
I am very well aware of the fact that you have long waited for the Sewoon Shopping Mall to regain its vigor. To attract more people to the Sewoon Shopping Mall, we will make it a location through which people want to walk.
By October of this year, a civic culture space will have been created, which connects Jongmyo and the Sewoon Shopping Mall. We plan to build slopes in front of the Sewoon Shopping Mall, so that people can have a view of Jongmyo. Below the square, we will construct a multi-purpose cultural space for the citizens. In this space, we will hold a variety of events such as Maker Faire. During these events citizens and tourists will be given the opportunity to experience the many activities that make up the creative manufacturing industry.
We will rebuild the pedestrian bridge, which was demolished in 2005, by May, 2017. On the crossing, people will be able to enjoy a view of Seoul, Cheonggyecheon Stream, and the sky from the perfect height. It will become a city landmark where people will want to visit with their family, loved ones, and friends.
We will revamp the pedestrian deck, which will spread like wings between the Sewoon Shopping Mall and the Daelim Sangga, and transform it into a place with a variety of attractions for citizens and tourists.
We will operate special programs that are only available at the Sewoon Shopping Mall.
There will be an exhibition hall that shows the story of the past, present, and future of the “MakeCity Sewoon” and a program in which the citizens can create their own art work using materials and parts sold at the Sewoon Shopping Mall.
If the renewal of the Sewoon Shopping Mall serves as the catalyst to invigorate the neighboring areas, it will lead to a huge synergy effect on the local economy.
To this end, we plan to connect Cheonggyecheon Stream and Euljiro to the Sewoon Shopping Mall in an efficient way.
The residents of this area have long yearned for the installment of elevators and paths that link the Sewoon Sanggga with the Euljiro underground shopping center. Therefore, after long consideration, it was decided that a special budget be earmarked for its construction.
This is not all. Do you really think this is all we planned?
We are making preparations to build a walkway from Jongmyo to Namsan Mountain. “Walk Again Sewoon” is a critical plan because it will revitalize every corner of the city by creating a pedestrian network that will spread from Jongmyo in the North to Namsan Mountain in the South, and also from Dongdaemun in the East to Gwanghwamun in the West.
The figure of “Walking Seoul city” will be extended by walking regeneration of Sewoon Shopping Mall.
The industrial potential of the Sewoon Shopping Mall will form the foundation upon which we will be adding an innovative growth engine to execute the plan of “Visit Again Sewoon.”
We will combine its potential with an external growth engine, thereby turning the Sewoon Shopping Mall into a hub of the creative manufacturing industry.
Because the Sewoon Shopping Mall holds cutting edge technologies and abundant resources for the manufacturing industry, the collaboration of young Makers and startups will ignite innovation.
The Dasi (Again)·Sewoon Collaboration Support Center will identify resources of the Sewoon Shopping Mall and connect them to other industries for collaboration.
We will operate the Sewoon Living Lab, where anybody can come, make whatever they want, and finally start their own business.
We will support various activities, such as collaboration projects, startups, and test beds for new products.
If anyone is preparing to launch a startup, wants to collaborate in different fields of technology and manufacturing, and hopes to develop prototypes, they are welcomed at the Sewoon Shopping Mall. At the Sewoon Living Lab, you can create anything you dream of.
We will attract strategic institutions so that the transformative energy of the young will be able to contribute to vitalization and innovation of the Sewoon Shopping Mall.
We will host the Seoul Social Economy Support Center, New Jobs Institute of Seoul Creative Lab (SCL), University of Seoul City Campus, all to encourage collaboration between the young people and the businesses.
Above all, we will make sure the residents of the Sewoon Shopping Mall “smile again.”
We will realize the revitalization of the local economy with your participation.
We will support an autonomous local committee for the revitalization of the Sewoon Shopping Mall area. We will set up a council the residents are actively engaged in and support its continued development even after the project is completed.
We will form Suri Cooperative Association (a cooperative union consisting of the Sewoon Living Lab and craftsmen in the various fields), and support meetings for the cooperation of various businesses so that the residents of the Sewoon Shopping Mall can use the skills and know-how they have accumulated for a long time to come.
We will operate programs in which the technologies of the Sewoon Shopping Mall residents and the ideas of young people can be shared, thereby revitalizing the Sewoon Shopping Mall. We will also operate an alternative technology training program which combines technology and art. We will set up a citizens’ university where the craftsmen of the Sewoon Shopping Mall and benders teach the young people.
We will provide support to residents, so that they may generate new ideas and put them into practice, allowing for the direct operation of cooperative businesses by residents.
It is important to prevent the adverse effects caused by redevelopment. The Sewoon Shopping Mall Regeneration Project is the first urban renewal planning which places more importance on the prevention of gentrification than development. We will ensure that all of you who contributed to revitalizing the local economy will never be forced to leave because of increased rent.
We will make a win-win agreement to develop the region and protect your homes and continue to offer administrative support.
Dasi (Again)·Sewoon Walking will increase the floating population in the Sewoon Shopping Mall by five times.
Dasi (Again)·Sewoon Industry will raise the sales by more than 30%, stimulate startups, and create more jobs.
Dasi (Again)·Sewoon Community will increase the proportion of businesses contracted with Win-Win Agreement leases by up to 70 percent.
As a sign of appreciation for your commitment, construction will begin in February, 2016. By May, 2017, you will be introduced to the new Sewoon Shopping Mall.
As a sign of thanks for you patience, we will invest 20.2 billion won this year in this project to ensure that it be completed on time.
Above all, we will begin by addressing issues that cause the most trouble.
We will start off by tackling those issues that you have said are the most urgent and fundamental.
Today, Seoul Metropolitan Government took the first step forwards the revitalization of the Sewoon Shopping Mall with you.
I will keep my promise to you: to attract the energy of the world to the Sewoon Shopping Mall.
There might be some inconveniences after the construction starts, but I ask for your continued cooperation and would also like to request that you continue to voice your opinions.
I will stay tuned in to your voice.
Today is the first day of the 《Dasi (Again)·Sewoon Project》.
Preparations are well under way for the second phase of the regeneration project and we will keep moving forward.
Ladies and gentlemen here today,
I ask that you all visit the new Sewoon Shopping Mall.
We will work hard in hopes that we may walk and laugh together soon.
In May, 2017, the new Sewoon Shopping Mall will unveil itself before your eyes.