City of Cities

Chungcheongnam (KR), 2005



City of cities is a design for a new city of 500,000 inhabitants in South Korea. A collection of rural, urban and metropolitan environments and a large variety of urban programmes have been combined in a well organized, compact area, which only covers 18 of the available 73 km2. In the rest of the area nature and the use and pleasure of nature by people predominate. Together they form the new city and its context.

The key word of this project is ‘immediacy’. A high compactness of the city permits a well organized public transport system and supply level. Within walking distance the resident finds the diversity of experiences that usually only a modern metropolis offers. Every destination is rapidly contactable by underground railway, bus or car. From a random point nature is always near, on a maximum distance of 1.5 km or 15 minutes walk.

The urban fabric is composed by a combination of semi-autarkic urban islands. These are conceived as pedestrian friendly, car-free micro-villages, micro-cities. If there are cars they are mainly parked underground. The safe and quiet public space offers access to all addresses and offers also a safe surrounding with trees and playgrounds for children. All together the islands with varying compactnesses and unique position in the landscape and city infrastructure develop different qualities everywhere.

The new city will not be an endless repetition of urban sprawl. In this city one feels at home and mobile as a pedestrian, like in historical Asian cities, Paris and Amsterdam.

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City of Cities
Chungcheongnam (KR)
City for 500,000 residents and 200,000 employees
73 km2 total surface location, 25 km2 gfa, 18 km2 built-up area
Competition design
The Presidential Committee on Multifunctional Administrative City Construction


Ton Venhoeven, Peterine Arts, Danny Esselman, Thomas Flotmann, Richèl Lubbers, Jos-Willem van Oorschot, Erik de Vries, Manfred Wansink

Cees van Giessen