Thursday, September 3, 2009

Suwon is so eighteenth century...

New cities are popping up all around Korea, and that's nothing new here. Imagine this happening in Canada!

"Oh, by the way, the government has decided to build a new city here... next to the old one."

It just doesn't register, right? I mean, let's not even go down the philosophical road of how exactly one builds an entire city... sure, you can build buildings- apartments, commercial areas, parks can be landscaped... but to build a city... one usually assumes that people would be the first necessity. But it's not. You're wrong. We're all wrong. Because Koreans build cities first, and then the people come. They rent buildings for their businesses, they decide to move there because it's sexier than the old city... it just works. I doubt this would have the same results in Canada.

I live in a relatively (relative in Western terms) new city. Sure, I live in Suwon. Suwon is really effing old. But I live in a new city in Suwon. I live in Yeongtong... Suwon. Are you confused? I was when it was first explained to me, as well. Yeongtong wasn't really around 20 years ago, and today it's the "coolest" place in Suwon (again, speaking relatively). It has the hippest bars and restaurants, the nicest apartment highrises, and the highest concentration of hagwons and other educational institutes, which also means lots of foreigners. Oh, and we house the majority of Samsung workers from the headquarters... which is located just down the road.

But Yeongtong can step aside- it is not the cool city it once was. People are getting bored. They need a little more pizazz. Enter new Gwanggyo City!

These cities always look cool in the blueprints, but they are pretty much the same as any "new " Korean city. In any case, I'm interested to see how this one turns out. I drive by the construction site every day on my way to work. The best thing about this new city, in my opinion, is that it might take over the area of Woncheon Amusement Park- a place I still have nightmares about.

Anyway, this new city will be located in Northern Suwon, near Ajou University and, of course, Gwanggyosan- every Suwonite's (?) Suwonian's (?) favourite hiking spot. Stay tuned...

3 comments:

qiranger said...

I live in a "new city" - one that is only 2 years old. It's still under development and has a long way to go before it has all the creature comforts of a good home. But I dig it.

Janinel said...

Apparently, Yeongtong is about ten years old, but it's so comfortable you would never guess it was that young. Interesting! Nice blog, qiranger!

qiranger said...

Glad you like my blog. Since you're in the area, we'll have to get together for a coffee/adult beverage in Suwon weekend.

Cheers,

Steve