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Stream Project Puts Seoul in Touch With Nature Again

Posted October. 01, 2005 07:43,   


“We are now united with nature. The city of Seoul has been reborn as the city of life after ups and downs for 600 years.” This excerpt is from “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow of Cheonggyecheon” by Park Bumshin, and is written on the side wall of the Cheonggye Plaza.

Cheonggyecheon is to be reborn on October 1, which has been buried in concrete for half a century.

It is after 47 years (from June 1958) when the rivulet-covering construction started, and the Cheonggyecheon Elevated Road was constructed in 1976. During that period, the stream did not gain much attention.

The highway was removed in July 2003 when the restoration project started, and after two years and three months of construction, the stretch of 5.84 kilometers from the front of the Dong-a Media Center in Sejongno Jongno-gu to the Shindap Railroad Bridge in Majang-dong, Seongdong-gu has regained its previous status.

At the Cheonggye Plaza in front of the Dong-a Ilbo building where the restoration ceremony will be held, all the riverside stroll paths are to open from the morning of October 1 (except for the Dong-a Ilbo to Gwangtong Bridge zone).

Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak and officials from various sectors are to attend the opening ceremony titled “Welcoming New Water” at the plaza before the Dong-a Media Center, surrounded by citizens to celebrate the restoration of Cheonggyecheon on October 1 at 6:00 p.m.

At the ceremony, the world-renowned Korean soprano Sumi Jo, as well as popular singers like BoA and Kim Geon-mo, and the Seoul Youth Philharmonic Orchestra are to give performances.

On October 2, the Hi Seoul Marathon will be held along with a performance by the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jung Myung-hoon (at the Seoul Sejong Culture Center) and on October 3, there will be a 7080 Concert at the Seoul Plaza and the Cheonggyecheon Folk Festival (on the riverside of Cheonggyecheon).

During the festivals, partial traffic restrictions will be in effect centering around the front of City Hall and the Cheonggyecheon Plaza.

Tae-Hun Hwang beetlez@donga.com