Happy Mother’s Day!  Today’s image and post have nothing to do with mothers, but I did want to take just a second and say thanks to all the mothers out there, on this your special day.  I hope you all experience lots of love from your families today, in whatever way that happens to look in this strange time we’re living.  Thanks for all you do!

Now, on to the picture.  File this one under “things I would have never known had it not been for my really smart friends”.

For the last couple of weeks (week 1 and week 2) we’ve been looking at some of the old and interesting architecture found in and around Seoul, South Korea.  While this week’s picture isn’t of old architecture, I hope you’ll find it just as interesting.  As I was planning my trip to Seoul this last time around, I happened to mention I was heading there to my friend Paul, and he asked if I could take some pictures of the Cheonggyecheon River, if I got the chance.  As one who enjoys taking pictures of rivers and streams, I decided I would make time to do it, but of course had to ask what the significance of this one stream was in particular.  Paul, who has worked in urban forestry and natural resource planning for over 30 years, explained that this stream had been “day-lit” (is that the past tense of “daylighting”? I have no idea) and is now applauded as an excellent example of urban renewal, and he’d like pictures to use in some of his classes.

Here’s the full story – In the late 1950’s, as Seoul started a period of rapid growth following the Korean War, the Cheonggyecheon River was slowly covered over in its entirety to make way for roads and buildings.  In the late 1960’s an elevated highway was then built over top of of all that, and the small stream was effectively buried and forgotten.  In 2003, however, the then-mayor of Seoul kicked off a project to tear down the aging roadway and uncover (or daylight) the stream, restoring some bit of nature to the very urban setting of downtown Seoul.  The project was completed in 2005, and was quite fun to see.  Today it is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to stroll through the city and enjoy the calming sounds of the stream.  Pretty neat, huh?

Join me next week as we skip over to the “Garden City” – Singapore!

–Dan Thompson

Title Address Description
Cheonggyecheon-ro, Sinseol-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

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