The restoration of the Cheong Gye Cheon River that runs through Seoul, Korea transformed an outmoded highway into a multipurpose infrastructure piece of unprecedented size. The project has recovered the biological and social ecology of the city and provides flood protection for up to a 200-year flood event.
Cheonggyecheon is an 11 km long modern stream that runs through downtown Seoul. Created as part of an urban renewal project, Cheonggyecheon is a restoration of the stream that was once there before during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The stream was covered with an elevated highway after the Korean War (1950-1953), as part of the country’s post-war economic development. Then in 2003, the elevated highway was removed to restore the stream to its present form today. The stream starts from Cheonggye Plaza, a popular cultural arts venue, and passes under a total of 22 bridges before flowing into the Hangang (River), with many attractions along its length. The Project created both ecological and recreational opportunities along a 3.6-mile corridor in the center of Seoul, and has numerous environmental, social and economic benefits. The stream provides flood protection for up to a 200-year flood event.