part of the North West Climate Change Action Plan

<< Back To Search

Cheonggyecheon, Seoul, South Korea.

Date: 2005

Evidence type: Delivery

URL IconView original document here


Cheonggyecheon (Hangul: 청계천) is a nearly 6 km long, modern public recreation space in downtown Seoul, South Korea. The massive urban renewal project is on the site of a stream that flowed before the rapid post-war economic development required it to be covered by transportation infrastructure. It was a $900 million project.


During the 1948-1960 presidency of Syngman Rhee, Cheonggyecheon was covered with concrete for roads. In 1968, during the presidency of Park Chung-hee, an elevated highway was built over it. In July 2003, then-Seoul mayor, President Lee Myung-bak initiated a project to remove the elevated highway and restore the stream. It was a major undertaking as not only did the highway have to be removed, but as years of neglect and development had left the stream nearly totally dry, 120,000 tons of water had to be pumped in daily. At that time, safety problems also occurred due to the deteriorated concrete construction. Despite this, restoration of Cheonggyecheon was deemed important as it fitted in with the movement to re-introduce nature to the city and to promote a more eco-friendly urban design.


The stream was opened to the public in September 2005 and was lauded as a major success in urban renewal and beautification.


Key Messages

Creating the environment with clean water and natural habitats was the most significant achievement of the restoration. Species of fish, birds, and insects have increased significantly as a result of the stream excavation.

Green infrastructure type
Water courses
Climate change role/function
Helping other species to adapt

The stream helps to cool down the temperature on the nearby areas by 3.6 degrees C on average versus other parts of Seoul.

Green infrastructure type
Water courses
Climate change role/function
Managing high temperatures

The number of vehicles entering downtown Seoul has shown a decrease of 2.3%, with an increasing number of users of buses (by 1.4%) and subways (by 4.3% - daily average of 430,000 people) as a result of the demolition of the two high-used roads. This supposedly has a positive influence by improving the atmospheric environment in the region.

Green infrastructure type
Water courses
Climate change role/function
Fossil fuel substitution; Reducing need to travel by car
Document Analysis


Level of document
Is 'green infrastructure' mentioned?
Relevant to climate change...
Is it relevant to other (non-climate change) benefits of green infrastructure?
Back To Top