Seoul / Cheonggyecheon: Building up an eco-friendly urban center
To restore the biodiversity in the river is one major goal in the project of Cheonggyecheon in Seoul. Although the water is directed from elsewhere, a similar ecosystem is restored as it is sink and separated from the civilization in the dense urban fabric. With the height separation, the river is more enclosed and more favorable for a natural dwelling space. The overall biodiversity is increased by 639% from 2003 to 2008. The number of plant species, fish species, insect species, mammal species, and amphibians all got increased to a great extent, proving that the river is similar to what these living things enjoy in other natural habitats.
The chart below has summarized the number of species increased before and after the construction.
The river section of Cheonggyecheon has suggested its capacity of holding flood and sustain a moderate flow rate of water out of the urban center. It is true that it can carry at a maximum rate of 118mm in the decrease of water level per hour. The heat island effect occurring in the previous elevated highway is actually reduced, in terms of up to 5.9 degrees Celsius drop. The demolition of infrastructure also created wind corridor along the heart of the city, bringing 2.2-7.8% increase in wind speed. As the traffic is greatly diverted elsewhere, the small particle air pollution also got reduced by 35%.
The area also resisted the economic downfall in 2003 and got an increase in the number of working people in Cheonggyecheon area by 0.8%. The introduction of working opportunities created surrounding the river is in favor of the rise of land price and concentration of global business sectors. In the same year Seoul’s working population is in contrast had a decrease of 2.6%.
Rudiger Frank, James E. Hoare, Patrick Kollner, Susan Pares. (2010). Conflict Management in Urban Planning. In Korea 2010: Politics, Economy and Society (pp. 85-112). Leiden: Koninklijke Brill NV.
Rudiger Frank, James E. Hoare, Patrick Kollner, Susan Pares. (2008). Korea 2008. Politics, Economy and Society (pp. 85-112). Leiden: Koninklijke Brill NV.
Kim, J., & Ch’oe, S. (1997). Seoul: The making of a metropolis. Chichester: Wiley.