Monday, September 7, 2009

Urban landscaping between Seoul and Singapore

in Seoul, I noticed there are alot of aged, old folks loitering around the parks. To top it off, they are almost all grumpy, sour looking and not exactly the sort of friendly gramps u have in mind unlike in Japan. I guess this is a sign of aging population issue world wide as well..

At least they show their identification card and they can get into the parks and palace for free. Though i wonder, how many times one will want to go into the empty and rather bland palace is beyond me. other wise, they will be sitting round the street stall, chatting and munching.. these are the lucky ones with enough spare cash.
One verdict I have concluded too. Amongst all the countries i have been to, Korean babes have the best legs, in Asia at least. Slim, toned, and generally shapely. While the Japanese girls have a funny twisted duck-walk and short legs which isnt attractive. In Korea, everywhere i turned, girls in mini-shirts have to die for legs. Not to mention, small feet. To them, my size 7 feet is monstrous and the shoe shop owner looked at me as if i am a freak in their hometown. I went everywhere and couldnt find any shoe my size. how depressing.
Shopping and eating in korea is relatively cheap, well that is if u visit local eateries like i did. The best thing, I never ever have to wait to be seated. It is not an exaggeration.

I like their city concept of having the stream cutting thru the city, where the general public can rest their feet, sit and chit chat while children go off with their water play.

Decorated alongside, they have significant meaningful structures or art pieces to don the wall such as scenes of ancient burial procession, or wall of hope etc. While i cannot advocate korea is a great city to live in, yet they are in good direction i think to balance a hectic city with a good sense of creative artistic landscape. They too have developed the han river banks to be great spots for cycling, fishing and parks to walk along. U have to give the urban development credit for that.

Its a pity singapore have to demolish the only greenery in orchard next to wisma and in its place, host a ghastly modern ''iconic'' mall and residence. Do we honestly need another mall, not really. But, should we aspire to carve out our niche of green spot to coexist with our concrete jungle, with the likes of NY's central park, UK's Hyde park, or Japan's Ueno park, or even Korean patches of greens, parks and stream -- yes we do and i would certainly like that. Botonical garden is too way out there...its not even easily accessible within short walking distance...

one of the greatest thing i like in seoul is the varied designs in modern buildings. They are not deadpan and boring like those in Singapore. While the old ones are equally block designs as any asia countries had in their founding years and emulating industrialisation plot as the west, I have to say they have very interesting buildings up and coming.

Singapore is still failing in its creative landscaping in many ways despite all the top-down call for more arty farty scene. By creativity, a simple illustration, a waiting seat in the train station as below. even the seat in the shopping area is cute with the little doll head, or a ''fake'' tree

In spite of all the grand intentions, the execution is not showing the ideals in singapore. Look at how a simple banpo bridge with the beautifical ligghts and water display transformed a common traffic brdige into a scenic spot in itself. So why didnt we think of this when we have out our benjamin sheares bridge / nicoll highway in singapore. is it that impossible to have our own light show.. seriously...

All the new singapore structures, malls etc are still reeking of too many controls, rules, boundaries or worse, trying to be overtly different with complete disregard to the landscape harmony with its surroundings [which is why i detest ion in principle]. somehow, the urban development private and gvt alike, simply cannot seem to inject any sense of creativity, imagination or out of the box concept into the new space... what we have, are still boring, safe designs. Nothing avant garde, nothing fancy, not even anything cute to say the least.

what other interesting focal point does singapore has got to offer for someone not living in the country besides its sentosa, and night safari...pretty much nothing else. In seoul, there are shopping areas that last thru till 4.30am, we have nothing of such. Its pretty pathetic if i must add...

In seoul, in every nooks and cranny, there will be something to catch one's eye, excluding the palace grounds.

Hell, even the construction site barricades in seoul are designed so prettily that it blends into the landscape rather than becoming an eye sore. Just look at the 2 examples below.

Compared to singapore, the hideous paste-over-picture of 4 models at the construction site back when ION was building puts us to shame. Anyone else rem how ugly one of the model looked that she actually got defaced by someone with horns and devil tail, and that was the ''visually unappealing'' scene that greeted everyone walking out of orchard mrt station then. What a great ''comical'' sight..
my friend thinks i am over critical about the urband landscape in singapore, but i seriouslydont think its wrong to expect and have great aspirations for your own country when u know they have the ability to do it. Its just frustrating to hear all the talk but seeing nothing is happening...

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