Inspire : Inspire Winter 2016
19 COVER FEATURE CASE STUDY: SONGDO IBD Held up as a smart city poster-child, South Korea’s Songdo International Business District is built on 1500 acres of land reclaimed from the banks of the Yellow Sea, achieved by dredging 500 million tonnes of sand from the ocean. To allow trees to grow on this salty surface, designers crafted a giant semi-permeable sheet that separates the topsoil from the ocean sand, keeps plants hydrated and harvests extra rainwater for alternative uses. Trees are an important feature of the city. Songdo – which means island of pine trees – is comprised of 40% green space. Songdo’s Central Park, modelled on New York’s famous asset, accounts for almost 10% of the city’s area. Developer Gale International designed Songdo as a pedestrian city. It also includes water taxis and extensive bikeways. In Songdo, they do rubbish disposal differently. The roads are free of garbage trucks and rubbish bins. Instead, a citywide pneumatic waste disposal system – one of largest in the world – whisks all waste from residences, businesses and public receptacles via pneumatic tubes to a central waste processing center. The developers say that once there, food waste is put to use for agricultural purposes while much of the rest of the trash is recycled. By 2020, they predict 40% of the city’s water will be recycled, and 76% of its waste. Songdo’s commercial buildings are linked by an advanced citywide network, designed to help businesses operate more efficiently. The various building systems ‘talk’ with each other from a central command centre, ultimately reducing energy consumption. Every home has TelePresence capabilities, which allow residents to connect from their home to their business or from business to business. Songdo International Business District in South Korea is a purpose-built smart city, or ‘ubiquitous city’, as they are known in Asia.
Inspire Summer 15-16