SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, May 16, 2019 — Seoullo 7017 (hereinafter “Seoullo”) will celebrate its second anniversary of the opening as of May 20, 2019. For the last two years, a total of 16.7 million people has visited this new pedestrian road (as of April 30, 2019), which means 20,000 people on average a day visited it. The total number of visitors from January to April this year has increased by about 120,000 from the same period of 2018, indicating that citizens’ interests in this road are still high.
Seoullo has attracted great attentions not only from Korea but also the world. When it was opened in 2017, many international media including The Guardian, CNN and The Financial Times covered this eco-friendly walkway. Since then, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea selected Seoullo as one of the 100 Tourist Destinations in Korea, and TIME magazine also designated it as one of the “Best Tourist Attractions 100 You Should Visit Right Now” in August 2018. In fact, Seoullo greatly contributed to Seoul’s winning of the 2018 Lee Kuan Yew World City Award that was held in Singapore last year.
According to a survey, the satisfaction level of visitors was 5.74 out of 7 points, higher than that of last year (5.49 points). Respondents said they visited Seoullo mainly for taking a walk or relaxing. Notably, 56 percent of the visitors visited the road more than twice, and 34 percent visited it five times or more.
Reflecting the identity of Seoullo as a “road for people,” festivals and programs have been taking place throughout the year. They include a road-themed parade (“March of Santa Hats”); relay busking performances (“Busking Spring Party”); a flower exhibition and a talk concert (“Where Did Flowers Go?”); Seoullo School (“Kid Botanist,” “Drawing Plants in Miniature,” “Family Gardening Class”); and a Seoullo Story Class. Since the opening of Seoullo, “Busking Free Zone” has been run for performances by civic artists. A total of 275 busking performances were held during the year of 2018.
Besides, Seoullo has become popular as the main venue for various international events, because of its geographical advantage of being near the Seoul Station and its good recognition from foreigners.
Activities with neighboring companies are also actively underway. So far 700 office workers from nearby 30 companies have participated in volunteer activities of cleaning-up the street or making gardens. Nearby shops around the Seoul Station, where Seoullo is located, are also in the midst of change. Especially in the neighborhoods called Malli-dong and Jungnim-dong, many trendy shops, pubs and cafes have been opened by younger owners at the existing old shops, for instance, a car repair shop or a transport café.
In addition, Seoullo has been steadily making win-win cooperation to support local industries. With local merchants, it promotes the neighboring areas together, and supports local residents-led events and programs. It also contributes the expansion of a “garden culture” into the alleyways of nearby neighborhoods. In line with Seoullo, the development of northern areas of the Seoul Station is now being made. In order to maximize the efficiency of the land use in the northern part of Seoul Station and redefine the status of the station, the Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to build convention centers, accommodations, and commercial, cultural and residential facilities with the Korea Railroad (KORAIL).
Given that there are currently 50 species and 287 kinds of plants on Seoullo, which has increased by 60 than two years ago, Seoullo is second to none of botanical gardens.
In order to make Seoullo a place where visitors can enjoy cooler summer this year, the city government designates the period from June to mid-September as the intensive heatwave management period for Seoullo and will carry out a comprehensive summer plan. First of all, it will extensively run a “Seoullo Cool Café,” install movable shade canopies and cooling fans, and spray cooling mist. Green parasols can be also rented for free.
Celebrating the second anniversary of the opening, the event dubbed “The Story of Seoullo” will be held for two days from 2pm to 7pm on May 19, and from 5pm to 9pm on May 21 on Seoullo and at Malli-dong Square, featuring a variety of performances and programs, such as the citizen’s market, and a talk show with the Mayor.