SDEV visits Cheonggyecheon River (with photos)The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, visited the Cheong Gye Cheon Museum in Seoul today (March 5) to see how the successful Cheonggyecheon River restoration and urban renewal project has added vibrancy to the city centre, while also improving air quality and the local environment.
The Cheonggyecheon River originally ran through the centre of Seoul from east to west, but was covered up with concrete in the 1950s and an elevated highway was built overhead in 1976. In 2003, the Seoul Metropolitan Government initiated a project to remove the elevated highway and restore the river, with the objective of re-introducing nature to the city and to promoting a more eco-friendly urban design.
Cheonggyecheon River's restoration is regarded as a major success in urban renewal and beautification, and is now a "must see" destination and great tourist attraction in the heart of the city.
To learn more about the latest infrastructural developments and urban planning initiatives in Seoul, Mrs Lam went to Nanjido Island yesterday (March 4) and toured World Cup Park and Digital Media City (DMC).
Located in the northwestern part of Seoul, Nanjido Island was used as a huge refuse landfill from 1977 until 1993. A new development plan was then initiated in 1997 to transform the site into an "ecology park" and "information city" - Sangam New Millennium City - comprising World Cup Park, an eco-friendly residential area and DMC.
DMC is designed to become a global digital media and entertainment cluster where the environment, technology, culture, industry, investment and innovation converge. DMC features high-tech office complexes, conference halls and cultural centres for the development, production and distribution of cultural, digital and IT content.
Mrs Lam also took the opportunity to visit the Mapo Resource Recovery Plant - a waste incinerator located in the middle of World Cup Park. Completed in 2005, the plant has a capacity of handling 750 tonnes of solid waste per day.
Mrs Lam also visited Bukchon Hanok Village yesterday to appreciate the Seoul Metropolitan Government's success in heritage conservation and the restoration of historic buildings. The village features a cluster of traditional Korean-style houses once used by the Korean royal family and senior ranking government officials. More than 600 years old, Bukchon Hanok Village was honoured with the Award of Excellence in the 2009 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation.
Mrs Lam also called on the Chinese Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Mr Zhang Xinsen, yesterday evening.
Mrs Lam will return to Hong Kong this evening.
Ends/Saturday, March 5, 2011
Issued at HKT 15:28