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Brooklyn in Seoul, Seongsu-dong

2023-08-31


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A distinctive area, Seongsu-dong, combines business, industrial, and residential districts. Around Ttukseom and Seongsu-dong, small and medium-sized factories started to appear in the late 1950s as urbanization intensified. By the 1970s, the region had grown to include factories for steel, printing, wigs, and handmade shoes. However, the plants were stretched too thin, and many had to close due to the IMF foreign exchange crisis and competition from Chinese-made shoes.


However, in 2010, economic revitalization began, and the handmade shoe industry in Seongsu-dong, in particular, took on a new lease of life, promoting the area's economic revitalization by shifting from a 'shoe production' center to a 'shoe making and selling shop'. Seongsu-dong was formally recognized as a "handmade shoe specialty industry" region thanks to the economic strategies of the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Budget-friendly artists and aspiring designers have therefore gathered here to produce art and design, bringing color to the local paintings and artwork.

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Due to the contrast between the narrow factory alleyways and the vibrant city center, Seongsu-dong exudes a certain charm. Seoul Forest can be found once you have gone through this tiny section. Seoul Forest, the city's largest park, melds with the nearby residential areas to create an area where you can sense the balance between nature and the c


ity. A range of cafes, restaurants, workshops, design studios, and coworking spaces for social enterprises are also located in the region, giving tourists a varied experience. Additionally, the neighborhood is home to young entrepreneurs and social innovators who are building new streets.

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In the 1980s, the decline of American manufacturing led to the closure of many factories in Brooklyn, New York. The desolate neighborhood attracted impoverished artists and startup entrepreneurs, and the city's strong support of culture and the arts made it one of the trendiest cultural centers in New York.

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And now, in 2023, Seongsu-dong is considered one of the most hip and trendy areas in Seoul. Seongsu-dong is home to chic eateries and cafes, as well as brick-and-mortar stores from a variety of fashion companies and pop-ups from diverse collaborations. Numerous establishments in this distinctive neighborhood, where the old and the modern mix, were converted from industries and homes, bringing back pleasant memories for millennials and brand-new experiences for Gen Z. The lively cultural and artistic landscape of Seoul is now centered in Seongsu-dong.


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