Seoul / Public participation in the preparation stage: public inspection of dilapidated highway structure

First Inspection with Professionals
In order to investigate the exact condition of the underground sewer, Mayor Lee Myung-bak visited the site with structural engineers, civil engineers, professors and reporters from several major broadcast channels in May and July 2002. Despite constant maintenance of the underground structures, severe rusting and erosion was discovered in the maintenance to their dismay. In a local newspaper report it wrote “either complete demolition of the overhead structure of Cheonggyecheon or large scale maintenance work must be carried out. The current condition of the highway cannot be sustained any longer.”
Newspaper_12th July 2002
Newspaper article about the inspection on 11 July 2002 (Kookminilbo, 2002)

Public Inspection and Participation
To convince the public of the pressing need of demolition of the highway, Mayor Lee decided that letting the public to see the condition of the dilapidated highway structure would be the strongest argument itself. In view of this, several public inspections in the underground sewer were organized starting from 13th August 2002. Volunteers were recruited to guide the public and introduce to them the condition of the highway structure and sewer.
Inspection of watercourse_1 Inspection of watercourse_2
Public Inspection in the covered sewer (Lee, 2006)

This arrangement has to a large extent involved the public in the preparation period as they did not only have the chance to entered the enclosed sewer area, but they could also apply to become a volunteer to understand more of the situation of the city they are dwelling in. It was a great improvement in terms of public participation in policy making in concert with the idea of “Participatory Government” introduced by President Roh Moo-hyun in 2003.

1 Comment on “Seoul / Public participation in the preparation stage: public inspection of dilapidated highway structure

  1. Your article documents several times of the inspection of the underground sewer very well and indicates the importance of maintenance or demolition of the highway by showing us the dilapidated condition. I think that you can demonstrate the significance of public participation better by showing the clear relationship between the underground sewer and the highway, and mentioned that the highway structure was embedded in the underground sewer.

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