Sunday, June 14, 2009

Soft Exploitation of Hangan in Seoul

All bigger cities in the world are located along the sources of water. The role of water bodies have been changed with time, however the basic roles haven’t changed to fulfill basic need of human being.


Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Hangan River Project provides a full overview of existing schemes along Hangan and upcoming projects. Various presentations, documents have been further clearified city government intention for maximum utilization of Hangan potentials. Two forms of interventions are notable, soft and hard; soft interventions means any intervention without disturbing natural line and flora and fauna of Hangan, while hard intervention means certain type of physical intervention. The hard intervention should be minimal to reduce impact. Various projects of Hangan are impressive and few projects, mostly concentrated with urban design perspectives are depressing too.

Similar projects in Indian cities

In India the bigger cities are either located on river side or on coastal belt, for example, Mumbai, Chennai are located on Coastal belts and Delhi, Agra, Patna are river cities. In my observation none of the indian cities' best practice can be applied for Seoul. Against Hangan, Indian cities have exerted negative impacts on rivers. The liquid wastes are normally flown into rivers without proper treatment. The river water is no more suitable for drinking purpose, for example, Yamuna water in Delhi.

In India, rivers are assumed as sacred place and used for various religious purposes including community bath as well as used for last ceremony of human being.

In spite of these issues few cities have exploited water for recreational purpose, for example, Mumbai developed Water Park around coastal side.

Some positive intervention

I would like to see some soft intervention in Hangan for making it more attractive. These interventions have excluded what is already in practice in Hangan.

1. Night ferries: Hangan river authority can exploit Hangan by night ferries project. This type of project will be of cultural or exotic in nature. In case of Mumbai, Night ferries organize various night club, dance club etc. It is very famous among tourists in Mumbai. This projects work like floating house.

2. Transportation Network: Hangan divide Seoul into North and South and it passes from West to East. It can be developed as transportation network. But it viability are full of challenges due to coast consideration, however it can be integrated with existing transportation mode like Subway and Bus not only in terms of accessibility but also in term of affordability. Tickets can be integrated with other mode of transportation.

3. Hangan as a cultural corridor: Seoul is vibrant and cultural city. It organizes a number of programs throughout the year. Hangan can be developed as cultural corridor on different time line.

4. Self sailing program: To exploit it further, we can provide low coast (fare) boat to tourists or visitors. They can use it from few hours to a day. This can be used for conducting special study academic as well as non academic purposes.

5. Floating Housing/Cultural Center/Aquarium: The viability/feasibility of floating housing/cultural center/Aquarium can be explored based on length and width of Hangan. Floating house can be used as part of other activities which is very common in Seoul. These can be developed in special location for specific purpose. For example, some parts of Hangan may be developed for some special recipes of Seoul, clubbed with famous Nooreban of Seoul and Arts center etc. This may be unique place in itself and it would may be must visit place in Seoul due to their unique in nature as well as dynamism in it.

Last but not least city government should be cautious in case of using any hard intervention across the Hangan. Any hard intervention may lead to certain advantages but it would be almost impossible to U-turn in terms of ecological flora and fauna.

No comments:


aredia lawsuit

Site Meter