Thursday, 19 May 2011
I know this looks more like Yesteryear City, but its around the corner from Tomorrow City, in Central Park, Songdo International City, Incheon, Republic of Korea. I gather from this pamphlet I found on the ground that is the decaying remains of an exhibition of truly biblical proportions.
As far as the eye could see were fading dioramas of stories from the bible, I gather. I've been reading too much Cormac McCarthy recently and this giant, deteriorating landscape without any other real people was a little disconcerting. A few workers gathered around as I left the site, perhaps to dismantle it.
But there is more to Incheon, albeit spacious and at street level largely devoid of people. The roads are BIG. Actually it would be a great place to pedal around - flat and not much traffic. This very optomistic piece of urban design in Haedoji Park shows pedestrian and cycle paths in keeping with the exhibit in Central Park.
This whale and friends is also in Haedoji Park, one of four large park areas in Songdo International City. This is a very young city, resting on what was swampland less than a decade ago. It's connected to the main Seoul airport by a 12.5 km long bridge.
The plan is complete this business centre by 2015. Given that, the street and park trees all seem rather large. The props give the game away. Here is a Taxodium (I think) being loaded into a hole by crane while I watched today (at the same time a nearby tree was being sawn down for some reason).
Other than lots of propped up trees, azaleas are also very common. The orange-flowered Rhododendron schlippenbachii, as it was labelled in Central Park, is the most common, often planted against the distinctive limestone rocks (although correct me if I'm wrong on the geology here...). It is just past its flowering peak.
So finally, to Tomorrow City.
It was closed. In a very Today City way, the security guard typed something into his iphone and then showed me the English translation "building closed today due to state". It seemed empty anyway, so not sure whether it was the condition or the government keeping me out. Still, this is what Tomorrow looks like, from the outside.