Songdo International Business District

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International Business District
Songdo International Business District
Center of Songdo
Center of Songdo
Songdo is located in South Korea
Location of Songdo in South Korea
Coordinates: 37°23′20″N 126°39′08″E / 37.38889°N 126.65222°E / 37.38889; 126.65222Coordinates: 37°23′20″N 126°39′08″E / 37.38889°N 126.65222°E / 37.38889; 126.65222
Country South Korea
Region Sudogwon
Provincial level Incheon
Time zone Korea Standard Time (UTC+9)

Songdo International Business District (SIBD) is a new smart city or 'ubiquitous city' built from scratch on 1,500 acres (610 ha) of reclaimed land along Incheon's waterfront,[1] 40 miles (65 km) southwest of Seoul, South Korea and connected to Incheon International Airport by a 7.4 mile (12.3 km) reinforced concrete highway bridge, called Incheon Bridge. Along with Yeongjong and Cheongna, it is part of the Incheon Free Economic Zone.[2]

The Songdo International Business District will feature the Northeast Asia Trade Tower and the Incheon Tower. Schools, hospitals, apartments, office buildings and cultural amenities are to be built in the district. Replicas of architectural hallmarks, including New York City's Central Park and Venice's waterways, will also be incorporated. This 10-year development project is estimated to cost in excess of $40 billion, making it one of the most expensive development projects ever undertaken.

A small number of Japanese residents have sought to live in Songdo IBD after the Tohoku earthquake.[3]

Ownership and design[edit]

Gale International, holds a majority stake of 61%, Posco 30%, and the remaining 9% is owned by Morgan Stanley Real Estate.[4] The plan was designed by the New York office of Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF). Infrastructure development, labor, and funding are also being provided by the city of Incheon.


Songdo from 29th floor observation deck of G-Tower
Song-Do international city

Built on 1,500 acres of land reclaimed from the Yellow Sea off Incheon, about 35 miles (56 km) from the South's capital Seoul, Songdo district is the largest private real estate development in history. By its completion date in 2015, the district is planned to contain 80,000 apartments, 50,000,000 square feet (4,600,000 m2) of office space and 10,000,000 square feet (930,000 m2) of retail space.[5] The 65-floor Northeast Asia Trade Tower became South Korea's tallest building. Computers have been built into the houses, streets and offices as part of a wide area network.[6]

The Songdo IBD was part of former President Lee Myung-bak's effort to promote green and low-carbon growth as an avenue for future development after 60 years of reliance on export-oriented manufacturing. The nation launched a $38 billion economic stimulus package in January 2009, with over 80% of the total earmarked for green investment. The Framework Act for Low Carbon Green Growth, passed by Korea's National Assembly in 2010, increased this to $83.6 billion spanning five years. Under this initiative, the Songdo IBD is being developed as a sustainable city with more than 40% of its area reserved for green space, including the park of 100 acres (0.40 km2), 16 miles (26 km) of bicycling lanes, numerous charging stations for electric vehicles and a waste collection system that eliminates the need for trash trucks. Also, it is the second city in the world to have all of its major buildings in par or beyond LEED's requirements, after Greensburg, Kansas.

Three additional foreign university campus are planning to open in 2014. This makes 4 total universities, located within an international business district some 40 miles from Seoul, including the first overseas university that opened in Korea, the State University of New York, Stony Brook.[7] The schools will be funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the Incheon Free Economic Zone and the Incheon Metropolitan Government.The development is part of a $35 billion effort by the Korean government to form an international business district that houses competitive universities from around the world. In spring 2014, George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia) will open its Korean campus in Songdo to support undergraduate academic interests and professional development programming for local corporations. Additionally, University of Utah anticipates opening a satellite campus in March 2014 with several American bachelor's degrees offered in Social Sciences, along with an M.A. in Applied Linguistics[8]


In 2003, Birds Korea called for a halt of the reclamation project due to concerns at the loss of important tidal flats. Prior to reclamation, the Song Do tidal flats had supported several threatened waterbird species, and provided a staging ground for migratory waders as they traveled between the Northern and Southern hemispheres.[9]

Popular culture[edit]

Songdo International Business District provided the backdrop for the music video "Right Now", by Korean pop star Psy.



  1. ^ Henry, Christopher. "Songdo International Business District / KPF". Arch Daily. Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  2. ^ Chohan, Usman W. "The Ubiquitous City – Songdo (송도)". McGill University. Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  3. ^ Choi (최), Jeong-in (정인) (2011-05-03). '지진 불안' 일본인 실거주 인천 송도로 몰린다. Yonhap News (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-11-19. 
  5. ^ Asia Times Online :: Korea News and Korean Business and Economy, Pyongyang News
  6. ^ "New Songdo City: Atlantis of the Far East - Asia, World - The Independent". The Independent (London). 2009-06-22. 
  7. ^ Park, Eun-jee. "SUNY Stony Brook brings math and science expertise to Songdo campus". Korea jongang Daily. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  8. ^ 상희, 배. "송도 글로벌캠퍼스에 내년 외국대 분교 3곳 문 열어". yanhapnews. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Last call for Songdo Birds Korea
  10. ^ "Inha Global Knowledge Complex @ Songdo International Business District".  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

External links[edit]