Downtown Seoul: The recovery of the Chungae Chun Stream

Downtown Seoul: The recovery of the Chungae Chun StreamThe Metropolitan Government of Seoul, South Korea, sponsors this studio in association with Crefolio, Inc., a development group. A site visit will take place early in October, courtesy of our sponsors. INTRODUCTION:The Chungae Chun Project is a 30-year, 45 billion USD, urban revitalization project conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, where a raised highway is currently being removed to restore the Chungae Stream, which still flows underneath. The site is of great importance in the context of old North Seoul.The restoration of the stream in conjunction with a partial redevelopment initiated by the government is expected to trigger the redevelopment of surrounding areas along the stream. For this to become reality the Chung Gae Chun Project needs to achieve three major objectives first, to remove the dilapidated raised highway and adjacent architectural infrastructure, which is no longer structurally sound; second, to restore the Chungae Stream and its meaningful historic landscape, thus returning the once lost green urban space back to people of Seoul; and third, to divert the unbalanced urban growth currently experienced north and south of the Han River, where growth in the new south overwhelms the original northern settlement.As expected, this ambitious project has raised diverse social, political and economic issues, which need to be resolved in order to make the project a successful one. Some of these issues include the relocation of current residents and shop owners, traffic congestion during and after project construction, limited local experience in dealing with public and private developments, and, most importantly, the redistribution of the value created by the project to those involved. The site consists of the six central megablocks currently specified by an existing master plan, which is to be revised by the studio (these parcels are considered to be the first phase of the entire Chungae Chun Project). The studio will begin by surveying the available repository of urban design and architecture techniques globally employed today in dealing with projects of similar scale and complexity. The Seoul Metropolitan Government will make an extensive data pool available. Studio results will be publicly presented in Seoul in the spring of 2004.