Right: Mayor Lee of Seoul
When I was in Korea last spring a colleague took me to visit Cheonggyecheon, a restored creek and greenway in Seoul. We stopped on the way to dinner, so I didn’t get the time to explore the entire length of the project, but what I saw was really exciting. Seoul is a vast, modern almost endless city where neighborhoods seem to go on and on and blur into one another. The creek/greenway really grounds and created a sense of place and order within this district. And it is magical when it is all lit up at night.
In 2003, Mayor Lee (see photo above) initiated the project to demolished a raised expressway, daylighting the creek below, and sculpting and transforming it into a series of water expressions. It is a long linear park, in the spirit of the Highline in NY and other creek and river project worldwide.
The genesis of the creek is a fountain with a field of frothy jets. The water pours over a cascade and water wall initiating the water way. Parts of the creek are very angular and urban, other parts are much more naturalized with significant vegetation continuing right up to the water. At various points along the creek there are water jets creating ephemeral fountains. Near the amphitheater there is a large ambient show. In other places spouts of water pop up from time to time. SEE LINK BELOW FOR MORE PICTURES