Rethinking Asia’s Public Spaces

Talking over dim sum at a busy Wan Chai restaurant, it doesn’t take much prompting for Christopher Law to reel off the failures of Hong Kong’s public spaces. “No matter how small the space is, they try to fence it off,” he says, taking of sip of pu-erh tea. “All the public seating is extremely […]

The Cheonggyecheon Experience

What amazed me most about Cheonggyecheon was its freedom. Here was a stream running through the middle of Seoul, one of the world’s largest cities, and it gurgled as contentedly as any country creek. You can walk next to the water, sit next to it, wade in and feel its sharp chill on your calves. […]

How to Fix a Troublesome Highway

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po9jgc6JS24[/youtube] When Montreal’s Turcot Interchange opened in 1966, no one had seen anything quite like it. Floating one hundred pillared feet above the ground, its concrete spans swirled and swooped through the air, finally coming together in a knot of jaw-dropping proportions. It comprised over seven kilometres of road and spanned an area of seventeen […]

Sunday Shopping

Sunday shopping in Myeongdong, Seoul’s most popular retail district.

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A Few Moments in the Seoul Metro

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Ewha Women

Seoul feels a bit like the world’s largest college town. With 34 universities and hundreds of thousands of students from across Korea, large swaths of the city have been dedicated to the amusement of students, teenagers and people in their twenties. Each of these youth-oriented neighbourhoods has a similar feel — lots of multi-storey cafés […]

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Scenes from the Seoul Metro

Today, in the subway, I stood beside a young woman who thought it would be a good idea to place her caramel macchiato in the overhead compartment. Predictably, the cup fell over and spilled its sticky java contents all over two men wearing fairly nice looking suits. One of them quickly gave the girl a […]

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Cheonggyecheon: The Flow of Progress

Restoring a six-kilometre stream that has been covered by an expressway for over fifty years is not an easy task. The job is even more difficult when the stream happens to meander through one of the world’s largest and most densely populated cities. The Cheonggyecheon, or the Cheonggye Stream restoration project is without question the […]

For Sale: Myeong-dong

Seoul’s Myeong-dong district is the ninth most exclusive shopping district in the world, according to an annual study of shopping streets published by the real estate analysis company Cushman & Wakefield. Retail space in the bustling shopping area in central Seoul costs about US $376 per square foot, or €3,169 per square metre. The study […]

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