The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) confirmed the design and installation schedule of Smart Shelters, of which the concept drew much attention among citizens. The SMG selected “Beauty of Korea” as the final design of the city’s bus stops, which modernizes the subtle curves of the eaves on hanok roofs. The pilot installation will start at the end of October.
From June 10 to 24, the SMG held an open call for public submission of Smart Shelter design to raise awareness about the project and decide its design. The selected design, “Beauty of Korea,” is a modern interpretation of the form and curves of the eaves on hanok roofs and received 47.3% of votes from citizens.
The SMG plans to install Smart Shelters to serve as rest areas for traveling passengers where they can enjoy green space all year long, unlike the currently outdated and mundane bus stop environment. Green railings will replace the guardrails that are installed by the crosswalks and vertical gardens will be installed on the wall so that citizens can feel the atmosphere of an urban garden while waiting for their bus.
Moreover, Smart Shelters will improve public transportation use as the environment will serve to alleviate some of the existing inconvenience when passengers get on and off buses; roofs of current bus stops do not extend far out enough so passengers had to hold up their umbrella right until they got on the bus, getting stained by the dirty raindrops from the roof. A survey was conducted to further explore such problems reported by citizens.
The SMG completed the customized roof design, and improvements will be reflected in the new and improved bus stop structures. The roofs will be installed to be higher than electric buses, which are taller than existing buses, and the length of the roofs will be extended out by 60 cm.
Smart Shelters will be futuristic as photovoltaic panels will be installed on their roofs to generate eco-friendly energy. The panels will be unified with the curves of the roofs considering the urban landscape and futuristic design looked down from high-rise buildings. To streamline the appearances of the shelters, HVAC condenser units will be installed in upper spaces and hidden from plain sight.
Smart Shelters that will be installed in symbolic areas will be equipped with screens like media facades to advertize the city’s policies and project media art graphics for a maximized effect of outdoor digital galleries. Smart Shelters will not be simple transportation facilities but cultural spaces where citizens can enjoy various events and messages.
In particular, Smart Shelters will realize the transportation welfare so that every citizen can benefit from the convenience. Universal design, which makes users not suffer from restrictions due to sex, age, disability, or language, will be actualized to overcome the limitations of the existing transportation environments and directly change peoples lives.
For example, a person with a disability, one of the vulnerable users of transportation, pushes the button of “waiting for a bus,” he or she can be informed of the time of arrival of the low-floor bus and the driver of the bus will be informed that the handicapped person is waiting at the Smart Shelter. There will also be the voice guidance service for foreigners and visually-impaired persons. CCTVs will be installed for the safe use of women and alarm bells to call the police will also be installed.
The Smart Shelters will be established at 10 locations starting at the end of October, when the bidding and contraction will be completed. Additionally, BRT central bus stops will be installed on the airport road. At the soonest, the construction of the Smart Shelters will be completed in December and open to the public and will be operated and stabilized on a trial basis for one to two months.
The indoor shelters will be installed at least one for each Smart Shelter and wearing a mask is mandatory for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. The city will cut the transmission of the virus and make the shelters safe transportation environments by not only carrying out thorough disinfection but ventilating the space by opening the screen door regularly and installing photo plasma air sterilizers and body temperature measurers.