The Cheongyecheon stream was a centerpiece of Seoul six hundred years ago when a king of the Joseon Dynasty chose Seoul as capital. However after the devastation, poverty, and the industrial era that came after the WWII and the Korean War, the beautiful three mile river was covered up in concrete and replaced with an ugly elevated highway. In 2005 after a very expensive recovery project, the Cheongyecheon stream was revived using manmade pipes that bring clean water from the Han River and restoring natural habitats, including plants, birds, fish, and insects. Now the area around Cheongyecheon is a centerpiece of Seoul again. Offering a relaxing recreation area for the residents of Seoul to rest and spend time having fun in nature.
I thought that this renewal project was very similar to the Highline in west Manhattan. Once an ugly elevated road through result of the industrial area, and abandoned for any hope or change, both areas were revived through passionate people who wanted to see the area bustling with life. It goes to show how even the areas that seem to have no hope at all can be revived through vision and hard work. Now both areas are unique landmarks that are enjoyed by all kinds of people, bringing people in cities closer to nature again.
Source: New York Times
Global Issue: Environmental
Primary Design Lens: Urban renewal
Secondary Design Lens: Urban cities