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Urban Planning News

  • The Transformation of Sewoon Shopping Mall

  • Urban Planning News SMG 11284


    In February 2016, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will embark on the first step of a public initiation project, the first of the two steps in the [Dasi (Again)·Sewoon Project]. After this first step, “Jongno, Sewoon Shopping Mall, and Cheonggye·Daerim Shopping Mall” will be connected. The first step of this project is expected to be completed by May 2017.

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government held an international design competition in June 2015, in which Environmental Scape Architects’ “Modern Vernacular” was chosen as the winning design. In December 2015, the design was finalized after holding briefing sessions with the owners and renters of the shopping districts (17 times), organizing and running a design advisory group consisting of field experts (4 times), and other preliminary tasks.

    In addition, following the announcement of the “Renewal (Revitalization) Project of Sewoon Shopping Mall” in February 2015, the Seoul Metropolitan Government arranged *Meetings for artists and resident representatives (36 times) , *Portrait interviews (270 times), *Running Sewoon Forum consisting of field experts and other specialists (12 times), all in order to gather a variety of opinions and recommendations for the project. As the result, the project has expanded to installing a Sewoon Shopping Mall observatory elevator and toilets on the pedestrian deck, connecting the underground street of Euljiro to the project, installing an escalator that connects to the deck, and outdoor fan for air conditioners on the second floor.

    On the morning of January 28, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the commencement of a public initiation project: the first step of the two-steps for [Dasi (Again)·Sewoon Project], at the courtyard located on the fifth floor of Sewoon Shopping Mall. Around 200 guests will attend, including Park Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul, Jung Ho-jun, a member of the National Assembly, Kim Young-jong, the head of Jongno-gu, owners and renters of Sewoon Shopping Mall, local residents, and others.

    On the same day, representatives of the Sewoon Shopping Mall owners, representatives of merchants, and Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon concluded the “Gentrification Prevention Agreement,” making a commitment to refrain from raising the rent. In addition, the “Public Space Usage Agreement” was signed, which guarantees free recreational space for local residents, such as a courtyard, the project rooftop, underground space, and others. The cost for facility improvement will be covered by the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

    The main contents of the [Dasi (Again)·Sewoon Project] can be largely divided into three themes: (1)Walk again in Sewoon (Regenerating the Pedestrian Walkways); (2)Visit again Sewoon (Regenerating the Industry); (3)Smile again in Sewoon (Regenerating the Community).

    First, “Pedestrian Regeneration” aims at restoring the value of a multi-dimensional city by gradually implementing a number of exciting projects: *Building the “Dasi Sewoon Square” between Jongmyo Shrine and Sewoon Shopping Mall (expected date of completion: October 2016); *Building an above-ground pedestrian bridge above Cheonggyecheon Stream (expected date of completion: February 2017); *Repairing the deck between Sewoon and Daerim Shopping Malls, and installing a platform cell in the shape of a container box (expected date of completion: May 2017).

    By October 2016, the “Sewoon Greenway Park” will be reborn as the “Dasi Sewoon Square”, a square built on a slope from which the Jongmyo Shrine can be observed. In the space below the square and the slope, a number of events such as outdoor concerts, flea markets, exhibitions, and others will be held for local residents.

    The above-ground pedestrian bridge between Sewoon and Daerim Shopping Mall, which was disconnected during the restoration of Cheonggyecheon Stream in 2005, will be rebuilt to allow visitors of Cheonggyecheon Stream access to the Jongmyo Shrine and Namsan Mountain via a south-northern walkway and an east-western walkway that directly connects Daerim Shopping Mall and Euljiro Underground Shopping Center.

    The pedestrian deck of Sewoon Shopping Mall will be transformed into a new attraction where visitors can observe the Seoul Sky. A deck will be built on the second floor in addition to the deck on the third floor, and exhibition rooms, rest areas, toilets, and other facilities in the shape of container boxes will be built between the second and third floor. The deck on the third floor will be entirely repaired and reinforced for the safety of residents, and the condition of the facility will be improved above level B from the current level D.

    Second, In order to revitalize industry, Sewoon Shopping Mall will be developed into an innovative hub of creative manufacturing industry by connecting the potential of Sewoon Shopping Mall and external growth engines. In order to fulfill this plan, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will offer policy support by *Establishing and running a cooperative support center for Dasi Sewoon (from November 2016) *Test-operating the Sewoon Living Lab (May-October 2016) *Inviting a strategic department consulting (from February 2016), and other supportive tasks.

    Finally, in order to realize the regional revitalization led by residents, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will be running the “Dasi Sewoon Citizen Council”, an autonomous community organization, and support programs that strengthen the ability of residents, including *“Suri Cooperative Association”, consisting of technical artisans of every field (October 2016), *“21C Alchemist,” from the Alternative School of Science Technology (July 2016), *Sewoon Shopping Mall University (April 2016), and other community-focused events.

    In addition, a Lease Dispute Resolution Committee will be organized related to Gentrification and operated to resolve disputes over rental fees and provide legal support, such as hiring lawyers and tax accountants.

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government is anticipating the following outcomes through the implementation of [Dasi (Again)·Sewoon Project]: *A fivefold increase of the floating population (from 2,314 people a day to 13,000); *A 30% increase in sales; *More than two hundred new businesses; *Over 70% of businesses to have signed a rental contract based on the “Gentrification Prevention Agreement”, among other achievements. The current project is expected to accelerate the urban renewal project of the neighboring areas of Sewoon Shopping Mall.

    Meanwhile, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will begin a feasibility study for the second step of the project in February. The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to complete a basic conceptual plan before the end of the year and complete the project in 2019 by thoroughly collecting opinions from the local residents, including the plan to connect the pathway of Sampoong Shopping Mall and Poongjun Hotel, from which the third-floor deck will have been removed.

    Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said, “Today is the day that the Sewoon Shopping Mall will announce its return to the hearts of the citizens after a long wait, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government will continue to invest in the skill and knowledge of our citizens and provide a feasible budget for the regional revitalization led by citizens,” and added, “We will also make our best effort to revitalize the neighboring areas of Sewoon Shopping Mall, a place that is not only an urban and structural heritage of Seoul, but also a place with deep cultural value and meaning as a historical, cultural and industrial complex. We will also carry forward our plan so that the Sewoon Shopping Mall will be reborn as a landmark that connects all walkways of Seoul in every direction.”


    * More information for Seoul Mayor announcement of Dasi Sewoon Project:

    * More information for Seoul Plan 2030: