SEOUL / Walkability as Covering Up Tool: From removing overpass to reusing overpass

This post shows the change of the Seoul government’s approach in treating overpass til now from 2004 and how the idea of walkability change the approach in treating overpass.

Photograph 1 – Before and After Overpass Removal [from top to bottom: Tteokjeon Overpass, Miah Overpass] Overpass is removed in 2004 to improve the cityscape and transportation environment [1]
Photograph 2 – Before and After Overpass Removal [from top to bottom: Shinseol Overpass, Gwanghee Overpass, Hyehwa Overpass, Hoehyeon Overpass, Hangang Bridge Overpass (North)] Overpass is removed from 2007 to 2009 to improve the cityscape and transportation environment [1]
In the early 2000s, Seoul Government started to remove overpass to improve transportation environment. However, the project of Cheonggyecheon in 2004 started a new page on how the Seoul government treated the land below the removed overpass. The idea of walkability started to introduced to the public. 

Photograph 3 – In the case of Cheonggyecheon, the Overpass is removed to provide public space and walkways to the public [2]
In 2015, the revitalization of Seoul Station Overpass opened another new page on how Seoul government treated the abandoned overpass. They chose to keep the existing structure to be the main pathway of the new project and increased its accessibility by adding more connections from the overpass to the ground. The transformation of the overpass to an elevated walkway brings a new idea to the transformation of a walkable site and a reference for other countries, making Seoul as a leading role in the walkable city in the world.

Photograph 4 – Before and After of Seoullo 7017 [3]

[1] HoKo Joon, “Removal of Overpasses in Seoul to Improve the Cityscape & Transportation Environment”, The Seoul Institute, June, 2015,

[2] N.A, “Korea Now and Then: Cheonggyecheon”, KoreaBridge, 2011,

[3] Marina Brenden, “Not Another High Line”, SEOUL Magazine, June 2017, p.8-16,

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