South Korea recently announced plans to construct a sustainable super-city that stands to eclipse the size of Masdar in the UAE. Designed by Foster + Partners together with PHA and Mobility in Chain, the Incheon mixed-use development will be a model of self-sufficent sustainability and will serve as an epicenter for the development of green technologies just north of Seoul.

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Upon completion the Incheon eco-city will comprise a community of 320,000 residents centered around a spine of transportation and green industry. The hope for Incheon is that the area will become a high-tech research and development center for sustainable industries that manufacture photovoltaic panels and wind turbines. True to this ideal, the masterplan incorporates cutting-edge green technologies such as biomass energy generation, hydrogen fuel cells, and hydroponic roofs.

Slated for construction over the next 10-15 years, Foster + Partner’s design for the eco-city will include both high and low-density developments that shoot off from a central transportation spine connecting three main sites. A Light Rapid Transit system will connect a center for Korean economic cooperation in the north of KangHwa with the southern half, combining green technology industry with community, cultural and residential buildings.

Currently the area is predominantly agricultural and supports approximately 35,000 people. Terraced farming will be replaced in part by green roofs, thus minimizing loss of agricultural space. The layout of roads and buildings will follow the natural topography of the land, and buildings will be kept under 50 meters in height. The smaller roads and pedestrian avenues extend from the central transit hubs, creating a tightly-knit community with easy access to transportation.

Grant Brooker, a design director at Foster + Partners, said: “Working at a very strategic level, we saw the masterplan as an opportunity to explore the sustainable potential of this extraordinary island, exploiting its pivotal position close to Seoul and its rugged landscape. We are delighted that the judges share our vision and, along with our collaborators at A+U, PHA and MIC, we hope to develop the project into the next stage.”