You are here


Analysis and Diagnosis of the Linear Park Project through Urban Regeneration in Seoul

Won-Ju KimㆍJayun HeoㆍWon-Sam KangㆍHeeyeon Yoon

Park projects have been actively carried out through urban regeneration to regenerate aging urban facilities and turn them into parks with the surroundings in areas where the park green services are scarce. Some of the representative projects include the Cultural Axis Base, Gyeongui Line Forest Road, Gyeongchun Line Forest Road, and Seoul 7017, which were created during the 6th and 7th popular elections. Since its opening in 2017, Seoullo 7017 has been visited by 20 million tourists and used as a venue for cultural festivals, and the Yeonnam-dong section of Gyeongui Line Forest Road has become a popular place like Central Park in the U.S. to obtain the formula "Yontral Park," and the linear park is used as a new tourist attraction as well as a walking path for citizens. In addition, because of its linear space-based characteristics, urban linear parks have relatively high accessibility and link with the surrounding areas, affecting the formation of commercial districts, and regional revitalisation.

Unlike area parks, linear parks have a long formality in length compared to their width, and because of these characteristics, they represent a relatively high accessibility and can be provided as a space linked to the surrounding cities. If you look at the impact analysis study by the characteristics of linear parks and if you look at the impact factors of urban regeneration, most of the studies were based on the analysis of changes in the value of real estate, including land or housing prices, and the analyses of sales growth, changes in commercial facilities, and gentrification were mainly conducted. In addition, there are studies focusing on users, such as satisfaction surveys, perception surveys, changes in utilisation, walking patterns, and rare changes in crime or birth rates, and analysis of environmental changes, such as weather conditions, noise, pollution, and wind paths around the park.

Among the representative park projects created through urban regeneration during the 6th and 7th popular elections, the Gyeongui Line Forest Road, Gyeongchun Line Forest Road, and Seoullo 7017 were selected as the sites for research, and the scope of the analysis included areas adjacent to the park. As parks are created in spaces with different regional characteristics, we would like to take a general look at the changes that occur around them. Since the three sites subject to the study are located at a time when the park is created and the use of the park has occurred to some extent, they can analyse the characteristics of architectural changes or regional values, diagnose the urban regeneration value of linear parks from an integrated perspective, such as citizens' feelings, and present the direction of utilisation and management.

In all the three target sites, the rate of visits was the highest in other areas rather than in the areas around the park, and visits using public transportation were the most common. The main places to visit on the Gyeongui Line Forest Road were Cheolgil Park, Gyeongchun Line Forest Road was Nowon Bulbit Garden, and Seoullo 7017 were public nature shelters, showing a high percentage of visits to facilities that are used as base facilities in the park. When it comes to the awareness of the park's construction, all three places had positive opinions at a rate of 83 percent or higher. After the formation, the users generally showed positive signs of change, and the Gyeongui Line Forest Road was the most positive about the revitalisation of the area around the park, followed by Gyeongchun Line Forest Road and Seoullo 7017. Merchant respondents also said that the Gyeongui Line Forest Road had the highest positive opinion on revitalising the area around the park, while the Gyeongchun Line Forest Road and Seoullo 7017 showed the highest positive opinion on improving the residential environment.

The satisfaction survey of the park's space and facilities consists of a combination of rest areas, walking environment, parking facilities, cultural spaces, landscaping facilities and trees, and facilities, and all three parks assess that the importance and satisfaction of "facility harmony" are high. The areas of major improvement, which are of high importance but low satisfaction, differed by the park, and in the case of the Gyeongui Line Forest Road, the areas of major improvement did not appear, and the Gyeongchun Line Forest Road was found to be a parking facility and the Seoullo 7017 was found to be a cultural facility.

In terms of rent, sales, and profits in the surrounding commercial districts, there is a big difference between the feeling of rent increase and the feeling of sales and profits rise in all parks, and rent is expected to rise in the future, and sales and profits are expected to be similar. Parks are expected to be similar to the current number of visitors, while the Gyeongchun Line Forest Road is expected to rise. As for the reasons for the similar or falling, some say that there are not many visitors due to the influence of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which is expected to require preparation after COVID-19.

It is difficult to objectively diagnose the effects of the park, and although the trend of new construction around the Gyeongui Line Forest Road and Gyeongchun Line Forest Road has been decreasing recently, the surrounding landscape has been improved due to the active demolition and construction of old houses in the surrounding area at the time of completion of the park. After the park's construction, the new building behavior of facilities related to hobby or convenience of life as well as residential use is believed to have had some impact on the revitalisation of commercial districts. Accordingly, in order to maintain and improve the effects of linear parks along with the effects of policy directions and regulations occurring in the surrounding areas, the establishment and maintenance of surrounding networks can be carried out naturally in accordance with the needs of the residents.

All three sites had the highest rate of visits in other areas rather than visitors in the area around the park, while the main places to visit were the Gyeongui Line Forest Road-Rail Park, Gyeongchun Line Forest Road-Nowon Firelight Garden, and Seoullo 7017-Air nature Rest Area, which is used as a base space in the park. As such, the importance of the hub space in the linear space is significant, and it is necessary to characterise the space in the auxiliary hub space as a community place for nearby local residents or as a place for attracting visitors from other regions. The auxiliary stronghold is to be connected with cultural aspects, such as education, exhibition, artistic activities, events, and festivals, so that a single space can be of importance.

In the park, there are users with various speeds and power, including bicycles that speed up and walk with dogs, residents who walk with dogs, and the elderly and the weak who cannot move fast. As a result, safety considerations are needed as various users exist in the same space. In fact, the Gyeongui Line Forest Road and Gyeongchun Line Forest Road, which utilise railroad tracks, are valuable as cultural spaces, but there are also inconveniences in using them by bicycle and walking due to the width of the walkways. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure safety through the division of space and the division of routes of use, and to ensure a pleasant walk in the linear park.

With the arrival of the New Normal era due to the influence of COVID-19, a different multi-pronged approach needs to be sought than earlier. As shown in the survey results, COVID-19 acted as a constraint on park use, park operation, and surrounding commercial areas. However, COVID-19 is the first to experience, but the need for parks is greater and preferring non-face-to-face walks, which necessitates more use of shipping parks than area parks. While prioritising the safety of citizens in the operation of the park, it is necessary to continue to discover and propose alternatives that meet the needs of users.