The Presidents Cup 2015 shines spotlight on Korea’s Songdo International Business District

New City in South Korea co-developed by Gale International acclaimed for quality of life, sustainability and Smart City initiatives; Nearly 100,000 visitors expected for tournament
The 7th hole of the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Songdo

The Songdo skyline seen from the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea

Songdo International Business District (IBD) is earning international attention as the location of the PGA TOUR’s prestigious Presidents Cup tournament, to be held this week at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea.

The Presidents Cup is one of the most eagerly anticipated and highly watched events in the sport of golf. The International and U.S. teams, each with 12 players, boast many of the sport’s new generation of stars, including, on the International Team, World No. 2 Jason Day and Korea’s own Sang-moon Bae, and on the U.S. Team, World No. 1 Jordan Spieth and World No. 4 Bubba Watson. The tournament is expected to attract nearly 100,000 visitors from around the globe to Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea and over one billion television viewers.

Stan Gale, chairman of New York City-based Gale International, serves as co-developer of the $35 billion, master-planned city of Songdo IBD. “This tournament marks The Presidents Cup’s first trip to Asia and is a historic first for the nation of Korea. When Gale International and our partners at POSCO E&C set out to build a new international city, we envisioned global events such as The Presidents Cup taking place in Songdo. This far-reaching vision informed every detail of the planning process, so that our world-class city and championship golf course could one day host an event of this magnitude,” Gale said. “Our decade-long efforts have paid off, and we are honored to present the fruits of this U.S. and Korean partnership—the city of Songdo—to a global audience.”

Songdo IBD, a 1,500-acre (6 km2) city-scale development on the west coast of the Korean Peninsula, is a joint undertaking by Gale International, Korea’s POSCO E&C, and Incheon Metropolitan City. This unique public-private partnership is a model of international collaboration. Located 35 miles southwest of Seoul, Songdo IBD is Korea’s largest economic development zone. The many thousands of international visitors to The Presidents Cup 2015 will experience Songdo’s vibrant, urban setting, stunning architecture, and extraordinary amount of green space—comprising 40 percent of the city in area.

Songdo IBD is one of the largest public-private real estate ventures in the world. When completed (projected 2020), it will be home to 65,000 residents and 300,000 people will work there daily. Currently, 36,000 people reside in Songdo IBD, with 90,000 residents in greater Songdo City. Songdo IBD is globally recognized as the world’s foremost smart, sustainable city-scale development. In 2012, the Green Climate Fund selected Songdo as the host city for its Secretariat. A dozen additional prestigious international organizations (such as World Bank Korea) have since located to Songdo.

The city is one of Asia’s largest green developments and has established itself as a world leader in sustainability. It adopted the USGBC LEED™ standard, totaling 22 million square feet of LEED-certified space to-date. At 118 LEED-certified buildings, including Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea’s Clubhouse, Songdo IBD boasts one of the largest concentrations of LEED-certified space in the world. In addition, Songdo has become a magnet for technology and service firms: Cisco has designated Songdo as a global center for its Internet of Everything (IoE) initiative, in which citywide network infrastructure enables citizens and workers to fully experience a digital lifestyle.

Songdo is making its mark as a global tourism destination due to its proximity to award-winning Incheon International Airport (an 18-minute drive) and its location within the globe’s most vibrant economic region. The city offers travelers access to more than 60 cities with populations of 1 million or more, all within a 3.5-hour flight time. Songdo now has more than 1,500 hotel rooms, from traditional Korean hanok guesthouses to modern five-star luxury suites. Currently, Songdo IBD is home to more than 1,300 retail stores, with visitors from the Seoul metropolitan area expected to number more than 1 million this year. Songdo’s dramatic buildings and locales have led it to become Korea’s top location for film, TV, and music shoots.