South Korea’s capital was relocated to Hanyang (present-day Seoul) in the 1390s. Seoul has grown and developed with a focus on economic efficiency throughout the process of modernization. On the flip side, the city has become more cut off from the benefits provided by Mother Nature featuring its mountains, streams, winds, etc.

At the 4th (2023) Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, it is hoped that this open competition will serve as an active forum in which participants discuss how to overcome the relevant obstacles.

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Since the late 1950s post-Korean War period (1950-1953), Seoul Metropolitan’s administrative zones have been expanded with a population boom associated with the rapid expansion of the city. Plans for the city’s urban development were focused on expansion of roads and supply of housing along with the development of technologies, which has led to elements of nature being overlooked in comparison. Seoul offers unique elements of nature that not present elsewhere in the world including Europe and the U.S., and these are precious heritage that we must preserved and passed down for future generations to appreciate. Many urban planners and architects point to the destruction of cities due to unfettered and haphazard development, but there are no comprehensive responses or custom-tailored plans prepared to improve the situation.

Many factors are intricately entangled with each other as to urban planning of Seoul City, making it not easy to draw a plan. That being the case, they intend to formulate a basic roadmap for an idealistic and eco-friendly city through the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, and establish a sound basis for an urban plan geared to Seoul for the next 100 years based on it.

It is not realistic to attempt to set a short-term urban for the entire city of Seoul. Thus, they plan to engage in a ‘study’ by selecting some major urban spaces with respect to the characteristic elements that Seoul retains through this open competition. If helpful and intelligent ideas can be provided for the Hangang River to flow through the city and villages close to the mountains, they can equally be applied to other cities with similar characteristics. As such, this open competition will serve an opportunity to regain Seoul’s original identity, while reconfiguring it as a futuristic city, and unveiling its environmental/ topographical features to the fullest.


Sharing the vision of turning Seoul into an eco-friendly, densely populated city with a cohesive flow 100 years ahead with citizens of the world by making its natural/ topographical features known to more people globally and linking the paths of mountains, streams, and winds again.


Participants are allowed to choose their work freely, referring to the sites of open competition in each category.

Competition Theme

What is Seoul’s identity? Originally, Seoul had an urban structure to enjoy the benefits provided by Mother Nature featuring mountains, streams, winds, etc. Its urban development has gradually placed an overriding emphasis on economic efficiency and materialism. As a result, its natural landscapes have been undermined and the city has lost many of its inherent natural elements. Concrete jungle that have been built in a random pattern have diminished nearby natural landscapes. The overall landscapes around Seoul lack consistency to the extent that causes to wonder whether the city has its own unique cityscapes.
It is hoped that Seoul will be able to be renewed as a city that boasts its own unique elements with an effort to work on the plan to make its cityscapes harmonize well with the natural surroundings based on a new platform, while making new relations with natural surroundings that have been cut off from each other, and to expand the green networks. They will also be able to invigorate the UAM (urban air mobility)-based transportation system and AI (artificial intelligence)-based vehicles that aligns seamlessly with the new status of the city, while expanding pedestrian-oriented green areas.


South Korea


  • A total of 40 works will be selected.
  • Please check the detailed information in the official website.


  • No specific limitations(regardless of nationality or age)
  • Any group or an individual can take part
  • Participants can be an architect, architectural designer, urban planner, researcher, writer, artist, critic, student, or a corresponding group, but not restricted to one of the above professions
  • The members of a participating team should not number more than 10, including individuals and institutions
  • A participating team should designate a team leader that will represent it and serve as the representative in charge during the entire process. The team members shall provide their consent that all legal rights/ obligations shall be exercised by the leader
  • Each participant may only take part in one of the types (TYPE A ~ G). No one is allowed to submit more than one proposal concerning a category
Eligible Regions: Open for All

Application Process

  • Online submission through Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2023 homepage( after Subscripting as a member
  • As for a team participant, the team leader shall submit an explanatory note on its work submitted

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Application Deadline: September 15, 2022

Application ClosedOfficial link

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