Location: South Korea
Years: 2011 — 2012
Each time I visit South Korea, the omnipresent rows of repetitive residential towers are a design feature that always feels hugely out of place in the context of the Korean society I see on the vibrant streets of the old towns. Over the span of these trips, I have walked through several of these ‘new town’ developments in Seoul, Busan, and other areas of the country, and these images are the result of those walks.
Up until 2012, Seoul, South Korea had experienced a decade of policy aimed at demolishing old neighborhoods in favor of rows of housing towers. Often clustered together, these towers formed giant, echoing, often eerily sterile environments dubbed “New Towns” by Korean people.
This program did away with hundreds of the perhaps-shabby-yet-once-vibrant neighborhoods which blanketed the city, but has been effectively halted by progressive mayor Won-Soon Park. Still, the developments stand today as a reminder of a think-big policy that favored economic development above the needs of the people it was serving.