With urban planning initiatives extremely popular throughout most of Asia, it is difficult to identify any one in particular as the overall benchmark.
While many new developments being built Asia-wide may be show-stopping, they often overlook social and community-focused elements.
The World Architecture News (WAN), however, has cited one newly-completed development as setting a new standard, an accolade that has not traditionally been bestowed upon these developments.
According to WAN, South Korea’s D-Cube City does, in fact, look at social elements while still striving for architectural greatness. The 320,000 square metre development, located on what was formerly an industrial coal processing plant south of the Hangang river, became the nation’s first fully-integrated development.
Designed to include multiple high-rises, low-rises and a 42-storey landmark office and hotel skyscraper building, the redevelopment is a testament to considered design in a densely populated urban space. Industry analysts have noted the strong social development that this new community will bring about, setting the foundations for a sustainable and economically strong region.
Designed vertically, D-Cube incorporates nature and culture into the overall urban layout. With the overall design taking inspiration from the painting ‘Mountains and Rivers Without End’ by artist Yi In-mun, it includes elements of both environmental reclamation and social rejuvenation.
The development features a constant flow and communication between buildings, which is embodied by walkways with soft lantern lighting and the incorporation of extensive open spaces.
Liveability has also played a vital role in shaping the city, with pedestrian mobility and safety emphasised and community development and social interaction made simple.
The development’s overall carbon footprint has been minimised through the incorporation of an Integrated Building and Energy Management System. Solar photovoltaics, greywater irrigation and recycled materials all play key roles in lowering the space’s environmental impact.
Not only has D-Cube offered an incentive for social and environmental rejuvenation – both of which play key roles in the success of this urban planning project – but the town is also booming economically. According to WAN, the city averages approximately 80,000 visitors per month, creating an overall hotel occupancy up to 90 per cent.
In addition, over 3,000 new jobs have been generated and local real estate values have increased by 20 per cent.
By placing the focus back onto liveability, community and environmental orientation, D-Cube has set a new standard for urban planning across Asia. This feat goes beyond aesthetics, taking into account the oft-ignored fact that urban planning is as much about the social as it is the structural.