The International Business District (IBD) in Songdo, South Korea.Gale International
When residents of the International Business District (IBD) in Songdo, South Korea go to work, pick up their kids from school, or shop for groceries, driving is optional.
That’s because the $35 billion district — currently a work-in-progress about the size of downtown Boston — was designed to eliminate the need for cars.
A project that began in 2002, the area prioritizes mass transit, like buses, subways, and bikes, instead of road traffic, according to Stan Gale, the chairman of Gale International, the developer behind the IBD.
When completed by 2020, the district will span 100 million square feet.
Take a look at the IBD’s plan below.
In Songdo City, South Korea, Gale International is building the International Business District (IBD) on reclaimed land along the Yellow Sea.
Around 40% of the area is reserved for green space (about double that of New York City), which also encourages residents to walk, Gale said.
IBD’s largest park, measuring 101 acres, was inspired by Manhattan’s Central Park.
“What you see today in Songdo, a city that is compact and very much walkable, is a direct outcome of this thoughtful approach to planning,” Gale said.
The IBD is one part of a larger development, called the Incheon Free Economic Zone in Songdo City, spearheaded by the South Korean government.
A construction site of Songdo International City district, a part of the Incheon Free Economic Zone, is seen in Incheon, west of Seoul, December 11, 2008.Reuters
When the government started planning Songdo City in 2000, 500 tons of sand were poured into the marshland to lay the foundation.
Currently, 20,000 residential units are complete or under construction in IBD, where around 50,000 people live. Approximately 100,000 residents live in the greater Songdo City.