Seoul green city has food within a 10-minute walk anywhere

Hyundai Development Company hired UNStudio in 2019 to design a green, mixed-used neighborhood in Seoul, Korea, a 10-minute city for the new digital economy. That means mixed-use spaces, green energy and digital packages for residents who are expected to live, work and play in the 504,000 square meter neighborhood.

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Project H1’s added technology lifestyle package is designed to go beyond traditional smart city models to serve residents in ways that free up time for leisure. Digital infrastructure also can manage energy production and consumption, communal spaces and local food production.

Pedestrians walking about surrounded by greenery and buildings

Will it work? The plan is to create all desired amenities from a larger city, including food within a 10-minute walk of anyone’s home within the development.

An aerial view of the main green pavilion surrounded by tall skyscrapers

“For the H1 masterplan, we have aimed to create the ultimate contemporary 10-minute city, where the daily life experience of the residents is the top priority,” said Ben van Berkel of UNStudio who helped head the project. “We do this through the inclusion of a rich density of uplifting, curated on-site experiences that provide an extensive range of options for how they can spend their living, working and leisure time, thereby also saving them the time needed to travel elsewhere in the city — because with time that is saved, more time is created.”

Unique buildings with a main central pavilion

The plan proposes to achieve these goals through System Design, which focuses on flexibility, adaptability and arranging components of a neighborhood according to varying needs.

Tall skyscrapers sit in a cluster right by a street

“We have taken an approach of ‘flexible urban density.’ This enables the multi-functional use of public space and employs mixed-use organizational models to ensure that the residents can meet, connect and socialize, both in planned and spontaneous scenarios,” added Berkel. “The components of the masterplan not only encourage the creation of strong community bonds, the proposed digital service packages also create an unprecedented level of convenience for the residents.”

+ UNStudio