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Pangyo before and after

Last week when I was in Seoul, I went out to Pangyo to see our completed Mirae Asset Venture building. Pangyo is a new, carefully planned district on the outskirts of Seoul. The building is in Pangyo Techno Valley, a central component of the greater district, is designed to out-tech Silicon Valley. It has already attracted a number of gaming companies, R+D enterprises, and electronics companies. 

I hadn't been out to Pangyo in 5 years, since we had originally won the competition to design the building. The progress was shocking (before and after photos):

Pangyo is still not complete. Strangely, but clearly as a result of the collision of breathless planning and a brutal recession, the huge commercial center planned to surround the crucial Metro station has been delayed. So hundreds of daily commuters walk through a construction desert between the station and the developed blocks of office buildings. The business community considers Pangyo to be desirable and successful. The area projects corporate vitality -- not easy these days -- but I would like to see much more progress at street level, where urbanism has not yet emerged. It reminded me of many successful yet inhospitable environments I've seen, going back to Crystal City from my childhood in DC.

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