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Inspired Ethonomics: Seoul Reengineers a Freeway Into a Stream [VIDEO]

Seoul River

Most metropolis' are so busy building the future that they don't have time to re-think the past. Not so with Seoul, South Korea. In 2003, the city demolished a downtown freeway to restore an ancient stream that once flowed beneath the thoroughfare. More than 75% of the scrap material from the demolition was re-used to reconstruct and rehabilitate the stream banks and create a commercial corridor. In this episode of e2, we'll see how the Cheonggyecheon is now a thriving tourist destination, proving that going backward can sometimes lead to an even bigger step forward.

Next digital short from the e2 series:
Portland: Global Model for Tranist-Oriented Development

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  • John Kim

    Yes, it sure became a tourist destination, but you should have researched more and find out the real stories behind the Cheonggyecheon project. Never listen to the government's side of the story only. The Cheonggyecheon project is really an environmental disaster if you look underneath the skin. It is nothing more than just a massive cement work and the death trap for fishes. They did not restore the old natural stream, rather, they are just pumping tons of water into the new artificial stream and the whole operation costs tons of the tax payers' money. The Chonggyecheon project is the ultimate example of how it shouldn't be done. Please, go talk to any of the environmental NGOs in Seoul and listen what they have to say about it.

  • Sarah Chen Lin

    Thanks for this John! I visited this part of Seoul just few weeks ago and was wondering what the story was behind that place, especially when I found the tablets in different languages on the floor that run parallel to the stream. Do you know any Korean environmental NGOs that publish material in English? Or who I might be able to contact? I'd like to find out more about this story and environmental movements in Korea. I'm a co-founder and ambassador from TWYCC (Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition

    Thanks again =]