“An aerial walk? It’s just a pedestrian walkway in front of a flower shop. What are the tourists? On the afternoon of the 17th, when foreigners and Chinese tourists wearing Jamboree scarves were roaming
downtown Seoul, flower shop owner A met at Jinyang Arcade, the starting point of the Sewoon Arcade’s pedestrian walkway, said, Most of the people who come and go are merchants delivering flowers and middle-aged people who come to fix old sound equipment,” he said.
It was difficult to find people who came and went on the pedestrian path, disregarding the popularity of the complex ‘Hipjiro’. I did not meet any foreign tourists during the hour I stayed on the sidewalk. There were many cafes with a ‘retro’ concept in the vicinity of the PJ Hotel, but the K-pop played on the external speakers was colorless and there were no people inside, creating a dreary scene.
B, a college student who arrived early for dinner and visited the pedestrian walkways of Sewoon Shopping Center for a while, said, “There are not many people, so it’s like a hidden place that only I know.
” The 1km-long pedestrian walkway connecting Jinyang Shopping Center and Seun Shopping Center to Jongmyo Shrine was opened in July of last year. The seven buildings located in the section originally had artificial decks at the height of three floors, but the purpose was to connect each building with a pedestrian bridge to make it easier for pedestrians to pass, while making it possible to view Cheonggyecheon and other areas from the pedestrian path. The project, which started during the late Mayor Park Won-soon’s time, cost about 100 billion won in total.
Although it was built at high cost, the pedestrian path usage rate is low. According to the Seoul City Public Pedestrian Road ‘Pedestrian Current Status Survey’ in July, the number of people using the sidewalks on the east side of Inhyeonsangga and Jinyangsangga, which are adjacent to Chungmuro, was only 647 per day.
According to the survey, the number of pedestrians on the 1st floor on the east side of Inhyeon/Jinyang Shopping Center decreased from 4992 before construction to 1277. Even the combined pedestrian traffic on the 3rd floor (pedestrian path) and 1st floor is less than half of the previous level.
The pedestrian walkway in Sewoon Shopping Center is a symbol of 스포츠토토‘urban regeneration’ led by Mayor Park, and it is one of the spaces that Mayor Oh Se-hoon has put the most emphasis on reforming after taking office.
Immediately after taking office in 2021, Mayor Oh, who said “tears of blood” after looking for public walkways, visited the Sewoon Reorganization Promotion Organization in April of last year and announced the “Strategy for Recreating Green Ecological Downtown.” The key content is that the existing building regulations are boldly lifted to promote private redevelopment, and parks and green spaces are created with public contributions in return. Through this, the goal is to increase the green area ratio in downtown Seoul by more than 15%.
The core of the Sewoon redevelopment that Mayor Oh envisions is the area located in the Euljiro area, between Cheonggyecheon and Mareunnaero. These sections are created as a ‘business axis’ that combines the business space of the high-rise building and the common space for citizens on the lower floors. It is the so-called ‘Seoul Grand Reconstruction Theory’ that secures a wider public space by allowing the first floor of buildings on both sides of the long green park from Jongmyo to Namsan to be used as common land.
Mayor Oh’s theory of rebuilding Seoul can be seen in the vicinity of Marunouchi and Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan, which he visited last June.
The area is in the form of a 1300㎡ forest (Otemachi Mori) between the high-rise buildings lined up on both sides. Although they are office buildings, they have become a space used by citizens who visit the garden even on Sundays and go out to the city. The buildings surrounding this park received an additional 100% floor area ratio instead of giving the lower floors to the public, and are built at a height that reflects the 1500% floor area ratio.
Among the redevelopment of Sewoon Shopping Center, the ‘business axis’ centered on Euljiro plays a similar role. In the case of District 3, which is currently being redeveloped, the existing floor area ratio will be raised from 874% to 1501%, and the height will be reduced from 87m to 199m.
An official from the Seoul Metropolitan Government said, “The low-rise space on the 1st to 4th floors of the building is created as an open green area where citizens can freely find, an open space within the building, and a work space for venture companies. It is an ideal idea to serve as a ‘prime office’ for large companies such as
When the redevelopment of the Euljiro area is completed, it is expected to be reborn as a skyscraper-density area with at least 10 high-rise buildings reaching a height of 200m.