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Seoul City to build aerial gondola across Han River

March 14, 2023 - 14:28 By Park Jun-hee
An illustration of Seoul City’s cable car (Seoul Metropolitan Government)

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon said the city government would build an aerial cable car connecting major leisure attractions and cultural sites on the banks of the Han River, while visiting London on Monday.

Oh made the remark after touring the IFS Cloud cable car, which offers 360-degree views of London across the River Thames.

Oh visited London as part of his 10-day trip to Europe, which aimed to look for policy ideas and to discuss ways to enhance international cooperation.

Taking inspiration from London’s cable car, the Seoul city government plans to construct an aerial cable car that could not only address mobility issues, but also create diverse waterside transportation routes and attract tourists to Seoul’s Han River.

Among the candidate sites are Ttukseom, a popular riverside park with a number of outdoor facilities; Jamsil, which boasts the Lotte World Tower, the world’s fifth tallest building; Seoul Forest, a large eco-friendly park known for its cherry blossoms; and Sangam, home to Seoul's World Cup Stadium.

The project is part of the city’s “Great Han River Project Plan” unveiled last week, a key riverscape development scheme to develop cultural and leisure facilities and innovative infrastructure along the banks of the Han River.

An illustration of Seoul City’s cable car (Seoul Metropolitan Government)

Seoul also hopes to attract more foot traffic by opening up more public spaces in the urban core, following the example of London, where private spaces are often open to the public.

London’s first urban cable car opened in 2012 to prepare for the 2012 London Olympics. It stands 90 meters above the river and can carry up to 2,500 passengers per hour in each direction, which is the equivalent of 50 London buses.

Apart from being a must-do leisure attraction, the cable car streamlines public transportation operations by ferrying passengers between the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks, arriving almost every 30 seconds.

The government said it would accept construction proposals from private-sector companies after reviewing details like possible environmental impacts and technical feasibility. An exact date has yet to be decided.