Adapting urban climate in Seoul

Adapting and communicating urban climate by design in Seoul

2015, tutor: Sanda Lenzholzer, student: Yesol Park, long-list nominee Archiprix

This thesis elaborates on how landscape architects can contribute to not only adjusting urban climates, but also communicate issues regarding urban climate adaptation to inhabitants. With rapid urbanization, South Korea is experiencing extreme and exceptional heat waves, particularly in the urban area. There is compelling evidence that this phenomenon will rise sharply in the near future. The research aims to understand to what extent groups of South Korean people – citizens, politicians, planners, designers and urban climate experts – are aware of the urgency of adapting to this phenomenon, and how far they are prepared to implement efficient adaptation measures. From a landscape architect’s point of view, the study argues that there are two potential implications for design. First, there is a need to improve the urban thermal environment; second, it is necessary to bring people’s perceptions and actions vis-à-vis adapting to urban climate up to date. In order to test and prove these arguments, an example of a design proposal has been created considering the context of a specific project site in Seoul. Focusing on the double aspects of ‘functional’ and ‘revelatory’ climate adaptation design, this proposal aims to set an example of possible adaptation practices. Find the MSc thesis here.