New Songdo City

Project Profiles

New Songdo City

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New Songdo City. Courtesy of KPF.

New Songdo City. Copyright KPF.

The Master Plan for New Songdo City, a new international business district being developed on 1,500 acres of reclaimed land on the South Korean peninsula, envisions a sustainable, technologically advanced urban center. Terrapin was asked by the lead developer, Gale International, to facilitate an Environmental Opportunities Charrette for the project and identify ways to improve environmental performance and quality of life in the new city. The charrette addressed issues as wide as site planning, energy, building design, water, transportation, materials, waste, and the project’s larger impacts, both “upstream” and “downstream” and brought together participants from all of the project’s design teams, key architects, engineers, Conservation Design Forum, iContinuum, E2, and Lehr Consultants International.

Inspired by the traditional Korean social organization of small, neighborhood districts, a new concept for distributed energy systems was developed in this charrette. Working with the design and development team to re-evaluate their centralized system for energy and water supply, a network of distributed “nodes” at the neighborhood (“Dong”) level was planned to create resilience in energy and water supply, resulting in far greater reliability for the distribution of these utilities. The charrette resulted in all subsequent commercial buildings achieving LEED Silver or better. New Songdo set a new international standard in sustainable building design, systems engineering, urban infrastructure, and community planning.

*Header and feature images copyright KPF

As a partner, Chris is an architect and sustainability leader focused on systemic thinking to address challenges in the built environment. Chris believes we can learn how to live on this planet if we start listening to nature again.