Parisian living experiment Les Grand Voisins visit a similar project in South Korea. Sungmisan is an urban village which houses over 700 families.
What is it?
After the independence of South Korea, in 1945, the country worked hard on economic prosperity. With great success. But the so-called miracle of the river Han was reached at the expense of individual freedom of the people who live in South Korea. People were used to doing what they were being told. In Sungmisan this changed when people opposed to the planned arrival of a water reservoir in their neighbourhood. Their protest changed the plans and with that, the neighbourhood as a whole changed.
Why is it interesting?
After discovering that by joining strengths for a good cause the individual can have a say the Seoul Community Support Centre was born. The centre supports ideas and projects of the people who live in Sungmisam if three people or more join forces to get something going. Sungmisan is now seen as a lab for new ways of living. People in the neighbourhood took the initiative for projects about better eating, saving energy and upcycling. Users play an important role in the decision-making process an by doing so they create the city they want to live in.
Key take away:
Proximity is the core of success.