The Garden Guide

Cheonggyecheon river reclamation

The Cheonggyecheon River in Central Seoul 5.8 km creek flowing west to east through the central area. The Cheonggyecheon underwent extraordinary transformations in the past century:

  1. it was a muddy creek fronted by ramshakle shacks at the start of the twentieth century
  2. then it was partially fronted by modern buildings
  3. then a major road was built on top, making it an underground river
  4. then the road was destroyed, the river was daylighted and the river corridor became a popular urban recreation area. 

One of the reasons for daylighting and restoring the river was that there were structural problems with the elevated expressway that was 'the lid on the coffin'. As with people, so with cities: you have to make mistakes to learn from them. But what fate awaits the Cheonggyecheon River in the twenty first century?


See blog post about the landscape architecture of the Cheonggyecheon River

Cheonggyecheon river c1900

Cheonggyecheon c1990 - buried under an expressway

Cheonggyecheon river c1955

Cheonggyecheon river: reclaimed, daylighted and seen at night c2005

Carlos Filippe Pardo

Cheonggyecheon river in daylight and with planting

Cheonggyecheon sculptured embankment

Cheonggyecheon river cascade

Cheonggyecheon river, Seoul, Korea, republic of

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