Friday, April 4, 2008

Korean Canal Project - part 4 - France example

Two last posting is going to telling us about one of the canal construction benefit for leisure, business, or any other economical advantage regarding to a city waterways system. Rotterdam and Seoul are a good example to represent the city waterway system. I will post another example after I review one big canal project in Europe in the year 2008.

France, a country in Europe, is one example to represent a country with a lot of canal. In total, there are 14.932 km of waterways and 6.969 km are heavily traveled. Reader can refer to wikipedia to get the name list of canal in France. (source :

Picture on the left is one of the canal in France, called The Grand Canal of Alsace. The length is about 50 km, placed in the eastern of France. This canal provides access for barges from the Rhine river, Basel (Switzerland) and the North Sea. One of the advantages of establishing this canal is to produce hydroelectric power at city called Kembs and Ottmarsheim, to supply electricity to the region that occupied by heavy industry in France. But, the canal which was began constructed at 1932, also have disadvantages that is ruined the ecology of the area permanently.

There are still many other canal, small size until big size canal, in the country that bordering the Mediterranean Sea. And, they will develop many other canal to boost the country's economic growth.

One canal that is under construction is called by Seine-Nord Europe Canal. This project is set to begin in 2008. The canal will start from the Oise River at Janville to the Dunkirk-Escaut Canal. The total length will be 105 km. It is said that this canal will be a high capacity water transportation system in France since the recent transportation bring out CO2 emission and traffic congestion. The project leader of this canal reported that 1500 containers unloaded in the port is equal to 1000 trucks on the road or 25 fully-loaded goods trains, but it's only for 5 vessels.

We may see that France is a country that become a hub in EU. The development of the canal may bring many benefit to the surrounded EU country. We may see that even the development of previous canal ruin permanently the environment, but for sure, French researcher consider it deeply to establish the canal that brings controversially discussion regarding environment issue. However, every single problem should be solved by the knowledge ability of human being who is talented-given by the Creator of life.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Korean Canal Project - part 3 - Han river as the 2nd miracle of Seoul city waterfront

One of the main project of waterfront in South Korea is Han river. The most famous project under designed recently is being a focus to the korean canal project instead. The Korean canal project may ascertain this mega project as is suggested by Seoul mayor as the second miracle of Han river. We may see the big project that will be followed by the Korean big canal project.

Seoul mayor emphasizes that it is time to market the city internationally after developing it as a "brand" and the Hangang (or Han River), with its central geographic location, will be the focus for the development of the city's new image. "We've seen the Hangang only from the perspective of flood control and its geographic status dividing the city into north and south," Oh Se-hoon said in an interview with The Korea Times.

Project Underway to Redesign City

"Now, we want to develop the river as Seoul's iconic landmark, which will allow the city to have competitiveness." The city government last July announced more modified plans for the large-scale redevelopment plan under the title of the "Hangang Renaissance Master Plan" after it detailed last year's initial city restructuring plan.

Hangang Renaissance
The plan is mainly divided into two main themes - restoration and creation. The restoration focuses on the revival of the river's old functions as an ecological home to people and other creatures while the creation aims to offer spaces for culture, business and tourism to the overcrowded city.
The city will soon designate special areas around the river as a core-developing zone under the theme of "Waterfront Town." They include Magok, Yongsan, Yeouido, Sangam and Jamsil. They will enable people to visit the river and its parks without traffic difficulties or hindrances.
The riverside highway roads will be reconstructed underground so that people can walk freely around the river, without having to worry about noise or danger, and will also serve as a Mecca for business and tourism with various facilities such as R&D institutes and cultural centers.
The areas around the riverside have been mainly used for residential housing projects. In the long-term plan, however, the city will also see an international terminal linking Seoul and Shanghai in China via a Hangang-West Sea route from Jamsil. The massive redevelopment plan also includes improvement on scenic views of the Hangang areas.
The city will come up with comprehensive guidelines for the designs of buildings and construction on the areas. "The scenic view of the river will be changed. It will be planned from the viewpoint of a ship on the river, not from an apartment on the riverside" Oh said. The plan will be fine-tuned and finalized within the year and more tangible results will come out from next year, the mayor expected.
"Let's say, if the first 'Miracle on Hangang' refers to the nation's drastic economic growth, the second 'Miracle of Hangang' will be more about cultural revolution," he said. The efforts for the facelift of the city have been also well recognized internationally. Seoul was designated as the "World Design Capital (WDC) 2010" by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design on the last day of its congress in San Francisco on Oct. 21.

The WDC project is a biennial international competition to identify and recognize a city that has effectively used design to revive the community and improve the quality of life for its citizens. True International City Along with the redesign of the city's appearance, the mayor also emphasizes the importance of systematic supports for its citizens and visitors from abroad to develop the city into one that is international in the true sense of the word.
He believes that the city should offer a better environment for overseas guests and residents as well as native citizens as the country is rapidly turning into a multicultural society. The number of foreigners residing here exceeded a million last August for the first time, which makes up about 2 percent of the total population, according to the Ministry of Justice. Of them, some 200,000 live in Seoul alone.
"Now, it's time to stop thinking that we live in a racially homogeneous nation. We should think about the ways to live together with foreigners in harmony," Oh said. Of the many difficulties that overseas visitors and residents face here, in the view of the mayor, the language barrier is one of biggest problems. To tackle the issue, he said the city would soon launch a project to designate "global zones."

Under the global project, the city government will select 15 districts where many foreigners reside and visit. The selected areas will offer more foreigner-friendly administrative services. It also plans to build two more international schools in the zones. The project will consist of three different types of zones - global business zone, global culture exchange zone and global village.
In the global business zone, the Seoul Global Center will be established to deal with business affairs for foreign companies. Culturally Rich City Seoul citizens may think they have so many attractions in the city but many overseas visitors may think differently, often complaining about the lack of things to enjoy. The mayor said that having the city's representative festival like the Rio Carnival in Brazil and Edinburgh Festival in Scotland can be a solution to the problem.
"Many foreigners visiting Seoul point out that the city lacks attractions to see and enjoy. We have been pushing hard to create various activities and events for them in hot spots around the city. And we believe various festivals in Seoul are as important as tourism programs in the marketing of the city," the mayor said. He expected the "Hi Seoul Festival" can be developed into one of Seoul's representative festivals.
Although the festival in spring has still a long way to be recognized as a successful international festival, this year's festival produced fruitful results as it was held under the unified theme of Han River and Seoul's history, he said. "The festival still lacks a strong image to represent the city. But the huge participation of locals and foreign tourists in the festival gave me a chance to realize how important an enjoyable festival is once again," Oh said.

source : Korea Times

Korean Canal Project - part 2 - Rotterdam Waterfront city

Let us see some other example of waterfront project. Rotterdam is one of the famous waterfront project. Picture below represent the picture from the air of Rotterdam city. 'From world port city to a fully connected European city as part of the developing Delta Metropolis'. That is in a nutshell the goal of the transformation of Rotterdam and its waterfront. The year of 2001, in which Rotterdam is Cultural Capital of Europe, is being used to pursue this goal. In order to generate ideas and inspiration, residents and users of the waterfront as well as developers are being consulted; London, Baltimore, Hamburg and Barcelona have also been invited to supply ideas

There are two backdrops against which the debate about the Rotterdam Waterfront can be placed. One is the scenario of optimum investment in the leisure industry and the other is the realisation of a sustainable development of the city on the water. These scenarios, and everything associated with them, are regarded as building blocks about which at the end of the year a debate will be conducted. The objective is to provide inspiration, to seek a common objective and to find an answer to the question how the enormous wealth of ideas for the Rotterdam Waterfront can converge into a development vision for the coming 15 years.

The city concept is to make the rotterdammers enjoy being the citizen of this city. The urban planning and design, such as Willemsbrug bridge, the first city bridge in this waterfront is still under designed. The study area covers part of the railway tunnel route and covers the Oudehaven, the Willemsbrug, the Noordereiland and the 'Vrij Entrepot'. Making use of different scenarios a study was carried out into whether and under what conditions coherent development is possible, whereby on this side of the central area too a cross-river structure with associated programmes can emerge. A project comparable to the city axis (large-scale, formal, representative, fixed in a complete infrastructure and strong routing), but also complementary in character (small-scale, informal, unusual everyday, regarded as a collage, a series of urban land uses and areas).
Other hypothesis is toward the dimension of use. The popularity of living and working in offices by the river is now rather evident. It is an area with fantastic panoramic views that no other Dutch city can match. Culture and leisure and entertainment as a specific expression of urban living are another story. There is not so much to do or see. The task is to give the city an opportunity as a centre of urban culture, leisure and entertainment, also on the waterfront.This dimension relates directly to one of the four themes of the Biennial: Global Forces. The hypothesis to be tested in the context of this task is that urban culture, leisure and entertainment (in addition to housing and employment) can determine the new relevance of the waterfront. An important question is to what extent the waterfront of the city can and must develop in a specific/local or generic/global way.

Other issues remained is how further the idea and study can be integrated into the implementation. No environmental issues related on this development study. Korean canal still remains many debate , especially toward environmental problem and other reconstruction that inflict a financial loss in some economic community in South Korea.

(source :