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Category Archives: Seoul

Seoul Urbanism on TBS eFM’s Koreascape: the first Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Each month I join Kurt Achin, host of Koreascape on Seoul’s English-language radio station TBS eFM, for an exploration of one of Seoul’s urban spaces. This time we visit the very first Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, a months-spanning celebration and an exploration of how cities across the world have found innovative ways to use, preserve, and improve […]

This week’s city reading: Los Angeles’ varied images, the return of the city-state, Amazon’s search for a city with decent transit

Will the Real Los Angeles Please Stand Up? (Mia Lehrer, Foreground) “The fact that our past Governor filmed Terminator scenes in the LA River, or that The Italian Job shows Mini Coopers racing down the concrete river bed, signaling to other cities that you can concrete over your river and have fun.” A New Approach to Designing Smart Cities (David Galbraith, […]

This week’s city reading: the future of Detroit, a farewell to London, and the failings of transit in the San Francisco Bay Area

Detroit Open City (Aaron Robertson, Los Angeles Review of Books) “The species of loneliness one feels in New York is not the same in Detroit. There is an overwhelming awareness that in a city this large, things should be louder. ‘Detroit is the biggest small town in America,’ I once heard someone say. The slogan rings […]

Seoul Urbanism on TBS eFM’s Koreascape: industry and culture grapple in Mullae-dong

Each month I join Kurt Achin, host of Koreascape on Seoul’s English-language radio station TBS eFM, for an exploration of one of Seoul’s urban spaces. This time we go just south of the Han River for a nighttime journey — punctuated by cats, coffee, ukulele riffs, tap dancing, and showers of sparks — through Mullae-dong. There an established generation […]

This week’s city reading: how Angelenos evolve, what “ghost signs” reveal, and the weakness of “best cities” lists

Why the ‘best cities to live in’ list rewards the safe and the clean (Gavin Haynes, The Guardian) “The Economist’s clientele are exactly the people David Goodhart characterised as the ‘Anywheres’ in The Road To Somewhere, his take on the populist revolt that gave us Brexit, Trump and global politics’ present weirdness. Unlike the more geographically immobile […]

Seoul Urbanism on TBS eFM’s Koreascape: Seoul’s identity crisis

Each month I join Kurt Achin, host of Koreascape on Seoul’s English-language radio station TBS eFM, for an exploration of one of Seoul’s urban spaces. This time we talk about my recent Guardian article on the branding of Seoul and the city’s efforts to resolve its ongoing identity crisis: hiring place-branding consultants, importing foreign architectural prestige, launching high-profile urban regeneration projects, putting […]

This week’s city reading: coffee shop as gentrification battlefield, knocked-down Seoul neighborhoods, and Los Angeles’ newest skyscraper

Now I Am Become Mall, Destroyer of Cities (Silvia Killingsworth, The Awl) “The mall of the future is an amusement park of a food hall, where we can easily and deliciously follow the quickest path to setting our money on fire—converting money into immediate kilocalories consumed on the spot. It’s no accident we call it […]

Guardian Cities: The Branding of Seoul

In November 2015, a much-publicised process of crowdsourcing ideas and putting them to a vote culminated in the city of Seoul unveiling its current English-language slogan: “I.Seoul.U.” It met with more ridicule from the local English-speaking community than most of the South Korean capital’s international PR moves (including, but hardly limited to, photoshopped versions for […]

Seoul Urbanism on TBS eFM’s Koreascape: Yongma Land, the Amusement Park Time Forgot

Each month I join Kurt Achin, host of Koreascape on Seoul’s English-language radio station TBS eFM, for an exploration of one of Seoul’s urban spaces. This time, along with producer Jamie Lee and a few Koreascape interns, we make the journey to Yongma Land, a long-abandoned neighborhood amusement park in eastern Seoul that has recently drawn such crowds as couples on […]

This week’s city reading: Apple’s sucky campus, Seoul’s “Neo-Brutalism,” what happens at SCI-ARC, the hotel theory of Los Angeles

If You Care About Cities, Apple’s New Campus Sucks (Adam Rogers, Wired) “Apple’s new HQ is a retrograde, literally inward-looking building with contempt for the city where it lives and cities in general. People rightly credit Apple for defining the look and feel of the future; its computers and phones seem like science fiction. But by building […]