Here's what Seoul's new, smart '10-minute city' is all about

  • Design
  • Tuesday, 07 Dec 2021

The eight buildings under Project H1 will include apartments designed to accommodate multiple generations, plus several common spaces for residents to share. Photo: AFP

The South Korean capital has entrusted the architects of the UNStudio agency to design the "10-minute city". This business and residential district is set to include cultural, leisure and work facilities, as well as green spaces, all within 10 minutes from home.

UNStudio recently unveiled "Project H1", its plan for a so-called 10-minute city in northeast Seoul. This is a neighbourhood that's envisaged as both green and smart.

In line with the 15-minute city concept, it features all the amenities useful for daily life – home, work, entertainment, shopping – all within reach in just 10 minutes.

Between two existing neighbourhoods, the 504,000sq m former industrial site will be transformed and developed to create a neighbourhood designed in several zones.

It will be home to eight residential towers with apartments designed to accommodate multiple generations, plus several common spaces for residents to share.

This area will also house shops and infrastructure dedicated to leisure and culture. The second zone will be a business district, with offices, co-living residences and an "officetel", a combination of hotel, office and home.

Smart and green

"Project H1" will be an interconnected neighbourhood with digital infrastructure "to provide residents of all ages and family configurations with a smart, healthy, green environment", says UNStudio.

Green, because residents will enjoy a pedestrian zone and wide streets, and there will be no cars in the neighbourhood. Numerous gardens and parks will adorn the area, which will also include green roofs and urban farms.

Healthy, because residents will have access to many amenities dedicated to their well-being, such as fitness centres, running tracks, swimming pools and climbing walls.

Finally, the "smart" side of things will be taken care of by UnSense, a subsidiary of UNStudio in charge of providing the digital infrastructure of this neighbourhood. It will manage energy production and consumption, local food production and shared use of common spaces, among other things.

The neighbourhood, which will be powered by green energy, will have eco-friendly facilities, including soil that can capture rainfall and channel this water to a system that will filter and store it, or organic waste collectors to make compost.

"We have aimed to create the ultimate contemporary 10-minute city, where the daily life experience of the residents is the top priority," said UNStudio architect Ben Van Berkel.

According to CNN, "a spokesperson for UNStudio confirmed that (the) project has been green-lit, but did not disclose when it is likely to break ground." – AFP Relaxnews

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