Changwon, South Korea

One location in Changwon City 7

In April 2010 Richard Register was inducted into the International Advisory Council to the City of Changwon, South Korea, along with Konrad Otto Zimmermann, Secretary General of ICLEI, of Germany; Heather Allen, Senior Manager for Sustainable Development of the UITP, the International Union of Public Transport, Belgium; Bernhard Ensink, Secretary General of the European Cyclists Federation, the Netherlands; and several others.

Richard noted that in Changwon, Korea was the closest thing to an ecocity fractal or integral project he’d ever seen.  “City 7” as it is called, features a very large discontinuous garden hopping from roof to roof and level to level with trees, fountains, sculpture garden, and for the first six floors, commercial areas including shops, restaurants, cafes and bars, many with views out over the city or into large interior atriums and terraces and all held together with many bridges on several levels linking the various activities. Rising above: about twenty stories of apartments and condominiums.

All that was missing from making City 7 genuinely complete as an ecocity fractal of a possible future whole ecocity, maybe Changwon itself as an ecocity, were some elements of food production, connection to a natural environment adjacent or celebrated on site and conspicuous relation to the natural energy flows of the location, such as tall solar passive greenhouses that would have fit very well with the rooftop gardens there. In a hotter climate, shade structures of the sort designed by architect Ken Yeang for his buildings in the tropics or Foster and Partners for their designs for car-free Masdar, now in construction in Abu Dhabi, would have been appropriate. So City 7 is not quite there but tantalizingly close. Being an official advisor to the city, perhaps we can get even closer soon.

One thing to help shape Changwon into the future is our ecocity mapping system – a perfect fit with their long steps toward the ecocity exemplified in City 7.

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