Best New Urban Space in the World

January 10, 2007 at 8:55 am 1 comment

Unless someone has a better example, Seoul has created the most significant new public space in the world.  If they had done no more than to demolish an elevated expressway and remove the concrete lid covering an historic stream, that would have been remarkable.  But the greenway they’ve created is astonishing.

Cheonggyecheon 2

Here’s an article from the Guardian on the Cheonggyecheon greenway:

The demolition of a vast motorway through the centre of South Korea’s capital and the restoration of a river and park in its place proves that mega-cities can be changed for the better.

Here’s the reference in Wikipedia.

Our Urban Design curriculum coordinator Michael von Hausen was in Seoul long enough last month to take a few shots of his own, including the one above.

Cheong 1

Cheonggyecheon 3

Cheonggyecheon 4

Cheonggyecheon 5

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. chris  |  October 26, 2008 at 2:29 am

    I would tend to disagree with this being the best urban space in the world. It is great and it an amazing reclaimation of a lost river. It unfortunately falls short of being an amazing space due to a few slight flaws in my opinion. It is trapped between two roads in a narrow and relatively deep chasm. There is little connection between the river and the buildings around it. You need to walk across the street and hover on the thin sidewalk (not even big enough for two) before you even know its there. Once you get down into it the only option is to walk along it. Not bad. But it lacks connection with the surruonding area and does not provide a vibrant urban setting. What it is, is a nice little stroll in the middle of downtown. You need to go out of your way to take advantage of it and there is little else offered to keep you in the area. A pity, the area is great, one road had been eliminated and the river space allowed to terrace up to a nice space between river and building you could have had countless nice shops, cafes, restaurants and lovely outdoor spaces that would have allowed you to linger the entire day next to this lovely little river. As it is now, it is just a nice little stroll in a narrow chasm somewhere in the city of Seoul.

    Reply

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