Eco City & Interview

The IFEZ, the City that Dreams of a Sustainable Tomorrow

Currently, ‘eco-friendliness’ is the keyword when we talk about urban trends. The IFEZ, from the moment it was designated as a free economic zone, has continuously been making efforts to establish an eco-friendly city. Here is an interview with Seok Sang-chun, IFEZ Director of the Environment and Forestry Division, discussing the IFEZ’s eco-friendly city strategy.

Seok Sang-chun, Director of the Environment and Forestry Division, IFEZ

What is the ultimate goal of the eco-friendly city that the IFEZ pursues?

In order to create a new city, we must reflect cutting-edge technology and up-to-date trends. Such is the case with the eco-friendly city of the IFEZ, too. From three macro perspectives, the IFEZ is approaching its true emergence as an ecofriendly city. The first perspective is to establish ecofriendly infrastructure, such as the installation of automatic collecting and processing facilities for household waste, the reuse of treated sewage water, and the installation of LED streetlights. Second is to create an urban ecosystem by securing sufficient green belts on land reclaimed from the sea, making an alternative bird habitat, establishing ecoparks, and conducting green rooftop projects. The third strategy is to build an ‘energy-saving city’ by supplying photovoltaic clean energy and installing rainwater storage tanks. The prerequisite for establishing a city is that people can gather and live together. Therefore, based on these three aspects, the IFEZ promotes its ultimate goal of establishing a city that is careful with nature and good for people to live in.

What is the main focus of the eco-friendly city project implemented by the IFEZ?

As of now, we have been exerting our best efforts for establishing a green zone in Songdo Park. Different from the cases in Yeongjong and Cheongna, the green zone in Songdo Park is mostly directed by the IFEZ, although there are some parts implemented by the development project’s contractor. The green zone in Songdo Park takes up a significant area of 7,457,000㎡, out of the total area of 53,362,000㎡ — up to 32% of the city. Songdo is a city built on land reclaimed from the sea. In other words, it is literally a city on the sea. Therefore, its soil has high salinity, and a special method has been applied to block salt in order to establish the green zone for parks. As the land has been managed well from the initial days of reclamation, citizens can now enjoy this green zone in their city. In addition, we have been conducting monitoring on the growth of plants in the park’s green zone so that we can check the health of these plants while also realizing the reduction of project expenditure by partially improving the applied method.

Regarding the eco-friendly city, what are the current issues that the IFEZ is faced with and what are the future plans?

The biggest task at present is to establish the green zone in the park to coincide with the time when apartments and office buildings in Songdo Zone 6, 8, and 11 start to become inhabited. The other task is to implement the project for bringing together disconnected areas in the park’s green zone in Songdo. For this implementation, the establishment of a green zone network needs to be considered, so that the parks in Songdo may serve as a green corridor for the city, taking the project expenditure and appropriate scale into account. We also need to make plans for facilities that require lower maintenance costs. From now on, we will exert out best efforts in making Songdo a green city on the sea.

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