Songdo IBD: South Korea's New Eco City
Every country needs their own master-planned eco city. Germany will have aptly named ECO CITY Hamburg, the UK has Hanham Hall, Sweden has Super Sustainable City in Gothenburg, Spain has Logroño Montecorvo Eco City, and the UAW has Masdar. But South Korea seems to have two master-planned sustainable communities, we saw this super sustainable city by Foster + Partners earlier this week, and now we are taking a look at Songdo International Business District or Songdo IBD. This new eco-city will be impressive with its list of eco-credentials - tons of beautiful open space and parks, green roofs, solar passive design, mass transit and over 120 buildings built to LEED standards.
Songdo IBD, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, is located on the waterfront of Incheon, South Korea covering 1,500 acres. It is expected to cost over $30 billion and house 75,000 residents, and handle 300,000 commuters. Of the 1,500 acres, 40% of that will be open, green space, park and golf course, and the city will be easily traveled by foot and mass transit.
The first phase of the city has already been completed and Central Park, the large 100-acre green space, which was modeled after New York City's Central Park, has already been completed. Besides the expansive park, Songdo takes inspiration from many other famous attractions from around the world. Songdo will also include Italianate canals, Savannah-style parks, Parisian boulevards, and a convention center modeled after Jørn Utzon's iconic opera house.
The impressive open space will do wonders for storm water retention and reduction of urban heat island effect, but that's not all the environmental tricks Songdo has up its sleeve. The whole city is based on LEED green building standards and over 120 buildings will seek LEED certification, which will make Songdo the largest private LEED development in the world. Songdo is also part of the LEED ND development program as well as Korean Green Building Certification System (KGBCS). The list of green design features includes, green roofs, LED lighting, co-generation, 75% of construction waste to be recycled, waste management system, low-VOC materials, expanded mass transit service, native landscaping and more.
Although the city seems a bit weak on the renewable energy technologies, the master planning and layout of parks and buildings seem well thought out. Mass transit, walkable and bikeable streets, density, open space and a good mix of residential and commercial will provide the makings of a beautiful and sustainable city.