Saturday, May 1, 2010
Well, I spent almost 14 hours today walking the streets and alleys of Seoul, South Korea. It was a pretty amazing experience.
Now, recall: large chunks of Seoul were burned during the Japanese invasion and Korean War in the 1900s. This means that much of the city is less than 70 years old.
During the day, I spent a great deal of time wandering through extremely narrow but extremely effective alleys that would never be close to legal in every single jurisdiction in the United States. What a fascinating experience it was and I'll post pictures as soon as I return to Pohang on Monday.
I have always been a believer that heavy density is not a problem but, rather, can be a very effective form of development--especially when it comes to enabling affordable development within a walkable and compact setting. Simply put: Seoul has confirmed this to me in a real world context.
I'll post the pics soon but, in the meantime, any doubt I had that density represents an inherent life, safety, and general welfare challenge has been dispelled during this trip.
--Chad Emerson, Faulkner U.