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Seoul Upcycling Plaza

Development Type: Adaptive Reuse Development

Type Of Developer: Public Sector

Start Year: 2012

Address: 서울특별시 성동구 자동차시장길 49

Website: http://seoulup.or.kr/eng/index.do

Contributor: audex

Location

Location Description
located in the Center of the Northern end of Southeast Seoul and is directly linked to the surrounding resource circulation facilities, such as and Seongdong-gu Recycling Center, and Water Reclamation Center

Case Report

Introduction

Development Info.

Development Scale: Region

Total Development Cost: 499억 won

Total Land Area: 6,943m²

Total Development Area: 23,265m²

Area Type: Urban Area - Urban Retail Area

Start Date: 2012/04/01

Opening Date: 2017/09/05

Planning Approval: Date of planning approval: April 2014

Lead Developer: Samoo Architects & Engineers

Consultants: N/A

Background

Economic Context

As the Reuse Plaza will have 16 resident companies, it is expected for 39 direct employment based on domestic industry standard and 95 direct employment based on American industry standard to be created. Other than the indirect employment related to real-estate, financial, and legal services, and other induced employment, expected to provide nearly 30 job opportunities. Source: https://www.seoulsolution.kr/en/content/3417 Last updated 2018-02-20

Social Context

citizens have participated in this project as they have a big role in donating the recycled material to the plaza for it to be processed, cleaned and ready to get used. the recycling movement have started since 1995 where citizens started shifting their focus on environmental issues and participating in saving their environment.

Environmental Context

1.3kg in the United States 1.1 kg in japan, 1.6 kg in Korea, the amount of waste that people throw away in a day. Korea is the country with the largest daily waste number in the worlrd .  Environmental pollution is endangering the country as waste is burned or buried. therefore by recycling the environment gets protected and the number of waste is reduced.

Historical Context

Seoul citizens' participation in the recycling movement since 1995 due to the 'volume-rate garbage disposal system' has increased, with other centered social movements that have been made such as the 3R (reuse, reduce, recycle) campaigns for environmental protection, and the enactment of the Social Enterprise Promotion Act in 2007 and the establishment of the social economy support center in 2013.

The Plan

Pre-planning Efforts

Starting from April 2012, the city of Seoul has visited and interviewed about 20 reuse companies for the construction and in a month decided the functions and content in order to establish a global recycling city with the help of experts. After confirming the interest of the recycling related companies, the city of Seoul decided to move forward with building the Seoul recycling plaza. From December 2012 to 2013, a competition was created and from the submitted designs "Story box, Dream factory with a story" of Samoo Architects and Engineers Co.,Ltd. was chosen, as the design was most fit with the concept of recycling. Lastly in April 2014, the design was finalized after changes in design following expert's evaluation.

Vision Statement

Sitting a long term goal to build a "Seoul-style resource circulation ecosystem" where waste is turned into resources and is linked to industry and jobs. 5 goals for Achieving the Seoul style resource circulation ecosystem: 1- City with completed resource circulation loop; it aims to achieve the highest recycling rate in the world with zero landfill and 100% recycling of waste energy as a green product leading city 2- An upcycling plaza as an upcycling and recycling hub, making the upcycling culture a lifestyle, turning it into a living culture for the citizens of Seoul 3- A city full of jobs and welfare; with fostering the upcycling industry as a new growth system for Seoul and creating a community and creating welfare village where citizens are participants in the process 4- A resource circulation governance city; establishing a model for citizen participation, and reinforcing the responsibilities of companies and a cooperative resource circulation system in the region 5- A city that has a strong resource circulation base; It will establish an institutional foundation with a processing infrastructure and will continuously provide promotion and education "Seoul Metropolitan Government"  

Goals and Objectives

4 Operation Goals of the Seoul Upcycling Plaza: 1- Fostering upcycling industry: the plaza recruits workshops, exhibitions of upcycling products, sales support, and fosters human resources 2- Operation of material bank: we will establish a system to identify, collect, and supply a variety of upcycling materials through the operation of the material bank 3- Production/ Exhibition/ Sale: expand on site sales and online distribution networks with the plan to invite upcycling artists 4- Education and domestic and foreign events: with the goal of operating an upcycling education program and holding international conferences Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government Promotion Video

Issues and Problems

Seoul has the highest recycling rate in the world, with 66% compared to 26% in New York, 25% in London, 18%  in Tokyo, and 35% in Paris. But compared to the high recycling rate, the foundation is poor due to the negative perception of used goods and the upcycling industry is far not stable as an industry and considering that most companies involved are still social enterprises it is difficult to secure business space.

Benchmark Projects

Freitag, a swiss upcycling brand that reuses the covers of large trucks that have been in European highways for 5 years to make one of a kind items such as bags.

Public Engagement Strategy

Citizen Focused Enactments: Seoul citizens had a huge part in establishing this complex as their participation in the recycling movement since 1995 due to the 'volume-rate garbage disposal system' has increased, with other centered social movements that have been made such as the 3R (reuse, reduce, recycle) campaigns for environmental protection, and the enactment of the Social Enterprise Promotion Act in 2007 and the establishment of the social economy support center in 2013.

Financing Strategy

free recyclable material from citizens are used for upcycling.

Existing Community and Residents

Seoul upcycling plaza is located in the Center of the Northern end of Southeast Seoul, making the transportation of recycled raw materials and goods smoother and is directly linked to the surrounding resource circulation facilities, such as and Seongdong-gu Recycling Center. Water used in the facility is brought from and purified again at the Water Reclamation Center.

Phasing Strategy

Securing Upcycling businesses in the building process.

The Master Plan

strategically located in the Center of the Northern end of Southeast Seoul, making the transportation of recycled raw materials and goods smoother and is directly linked to the surrounding resource circulation facilities, such as and Seongdong-gu Recycling Center.

Land Uses and Programs

Annually 60,000 tons of material and used goods such as glass and clothing thrown away by businesses or citizens are sorted, cleaned, and processed in the “recycling workshop”. While in the “Material Bank” raw material is identified, donated, processed and stored, and later sold to tenants or other companies and individuals. The complex also offers space called the “Dreaming Factory” to prototype ideas for prospective founders for only a small fee, and is equipped with around 50 types of machines such as 3D printers and processing machines. On the 2nd and 3rd floor, there resides 40 companies and individual workshops selected from a total of 109 companies, and are divided to three sectors: upcycling for humanity, upcycling for society, and upcycling for environment.  These startups do not only sell their products, but offer educational programs and allow citizen to experience the process of upcycling. They also contribute to solving many issues in the society such as elderly problems, creating jobs for the youth, environmental movements and urban generation, etc,. The plaza produces a variety of products that try to solve urban and social problems, with producing fun products, treatment kit for patients, Bee119 and many other creative items.

Timeline or Milestones

Starting from April 2012, the city of Seoul has visited and interviewed about 20 reuse companies for the construction and in a month decided the functions and content in order to establish a global recycling city with the help of experts. After confirming the interest of the recycling related companies, the city of Seoul decided to move forward with building the Seoul recycling plaza. From December 2012 to 2013, a competition was created and from the submitted designs "Story box, Dream factory with a story" of Samoo Architects and Engineers Co.,Ltd. was chosen, as the design was most fit with the concept of recycling. Lastly in April 2014, the design was finalized after changes in design following expert's evaluation.

Current Status

Seoul upcycling plaza plans to further expand its business cooperation with local governments and education offices in Korea and with foreign government agencies overseas. With the aim to be the center of Korea’s upcycling culture and industry, it will be generating industrial jobs for all age groups, promote valuable public consumption, and offer opportunities and experiences to visitors.

Lessons Learned

What is the most important take away from this case?

the importance of upcycling and preserving materials and reducing the production of the same material while existing material can hold the same value, or even more.

Why is this case relevant today and for whom?

I believe this is a project that should be promoted intensively as Korea is facing the biggest crises as the number one country in the world with the highest daily waste. I believe that this concept should be adopted by all countries to eradicate the preconception that waste materials are meant to be burnt or buried since it is relevant to all people living on this earth

Which strategy was proved to be successful?

Social participation from citizens of different age groups creates a community that cares about its country and earth in general and enhances the spirit of protecting the environment, reducing the produced waste in the first place, reusing the material reduces its production itself which is a step closer to sustainability. This project is a great opportunity to keep materials timeless and live with us through different shapes and usage, protecting our economy and earth as well.

In your opinion, what could have improved this project?

Although it has a strong message, I felt that it is isolated from the business industry and put in the category of manufacturing. Logistically speaking it could be due to its location, but more promotion and accessibility to the educational and designing spaces would help increase the scale of its influence in Korea, brining more attention to the issue of recycling.

Any other comments?

Recycling was an issue I was very interested in learning, and discovering the future industry of upcycling opened my eyes on more fun and creative ways to save the earth. I believe more attention should be brought to this project.

References

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Contributor audex

audex

AUDEX is an acknowledgement that we need to start building on our own knowledge and experiences that applies to Asian cities and, perhaps, we can steer the global urbanization in the right direction. We believe in a collective intelligence. Powered by the internet and the network of professionals and experts in Asia, we propose to start by making sharing your experience and knowledge easier.