Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cheonggyecheon - cool stream in the middle of Seoul

One of my favorite spots in Seoul was Cheonggyecheon. Cheonggyecheon used to be a creek but after the Korean war became polluted by the sudden influx of people moving to the city. It was covered over with concrete in 1958 and made into an elevated highway in 1976.

In 2003 a project began to remove the highway and restore the stream. It was completed in 2005.

Parts of the stream are very wild looking. There were many people tucked next to bushes or strolling along the walkway.

The positive environmental changes Cheonggyecheon brought about are astounding. There are now more fish, birds and insects right in the middle of Seoul. The temperature around the stream is 3.6 °C cooler on average than other areas of the city. 2.3% fewer vehicles enter downtown Seoul while 1.4% more people use the bus and 4.3% (430,000 people) take the subway as a result of removing the pre-existing roads.

Parts of the stream are more polished.

There was always a crowd of people sitting on the banks under the bridges in the shade with their feet in the water. Definitely a great place to hang out and relax.

Rochester could so use something like this. Maybe the Inner Loop Project could look into this?

1 comment:

  1. That's fantastic! Imagine if they restored the Los Angeles river like this!
    Loving the photos of your trip.