Seoul / Cheonggyecheon, the symbol of the modernity
Cheonggyecheon is a stream that pass through Seoul, surrounded by a promenade. This site went under an urban renewal project that radically change the perception of this place.
Historically, the boundaries of Seoul was Jung and Jongno districts, so the main river that pass in the city wasn’t the Han River but Cheonggyecheon. It used to be a part of the drainage system during the Joseon Dynasty.
Starting in 1958s, the stream has been covered by concrete after the government referred to it as a polluted area. In 1976, a 16m wide express elevated highway had been constructed.
Cheonggyecheon stays still today one of the major symbol of the successful industrialization and modernization of Seoul by showcasing a new urban plan. This plan consists of projecting an exterior area where people can walk on and sit on. This bring back a social dimension to this place and show clearly how Seoul changes and grows very fast.
The debate that was surrounding the project was the cost. A total of $384 million were needed to the completion which did not help in the opinion of the people against the project. Nevertheless, nowadays the area successfully introduced a new atmosphere in the district, erasing (or almost) what was there before, and it became a major gathering place of the capital.