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Seoul to transform elevated highway into ‘skygarden’

An abandoned overpass through the heart of Seoul, South Korea is to be turned into an elevated park. (MVRDV)

Seoul has drawn international acclaim for its willingness to permanently remove urban freeways. Lee Hyun-jeong reports for the Korea Herald that the city has other ideas for an abandoned overpass. It plans to transform the one-kilometer stretch into a lush, elevated park modeled after New York’s famed High Line.

Dutch architect Winy Mass was chosen to implement his vision of a high-rise skygarden dubbed the “Seoul Arboretum,” the article says. The overpass would feature 254 species of trees, shrubs and flowers, according to his design firm, MVRDV. In 2006, the overpass was slated for demolition, but subsequent discussions with residents and urban planners resulted in this scheme.

The centrally located overpass would connect with 17 nearby roads in the shape of a giant tree. The project, with a price tag of 38 billion South Korean Won (US$ 34.5 million), is expected to be finished in 2017. 

Korea Herald

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