Walk21 Founding Director, Jim Walker, visited South Korea in June on an invitation from the City of Seoul to speak at the first Korean Walking Conference, hosted by the City. It was an honour to meet Mayor Park (left) - the walking Mayor who explained how he takes a walk before any big decision. This includes a recent one that meant taking 4 lanes of traffic out of the City and giving the elevated space to pedestrians instead. This is the Seoullo Project 7017 (below). It was a real pleasure to see and experience this ambitious project.
Mayor Park shared how he wished he had been bolder, sooner with these sorts of walking projects. Within the first two weeks, Seoullo Project 7017 had already more than 1 million visitors and press from across the world.
Jim went on to speak at The Seoul Institute; to The Green Transportation Promotion NGO for walking, cycling and environment affairs in Korea; The Suwon Research Institute; The NewCities Summit in Songdo and a meeting with The Mayor of Suwon - who transformed part of the city to host the first Ecomobility conference a few years ago. It was a great trip and confirmed that the appetite for more walking projects in Asia is huge! We hope to go back again soon.
With special thanks to our friend Professor Keechoo Choi, who connected us with all this activity and ambition for more walking. Professor Choi is President of the Korean Society of Transportation; Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Sustainable Transportation [SSCI]; Director, National Center for Sustainable Urban Transportation (ERC) and Chairman, World Road Association [PIARC] Korea. He is also a keen walker!