Unpaving paradise – Seoul rips out a freeway to expose a river

In the middle of fighting a mad urban planning fiasco in Vancouver, it was heartening to see this news from another city: Seoul rips out freeways and allows the sun back onto a river. Removing a freeway was a huge risk for Seoul’s transportation planner, but somehow he proved his detractors wrong by making traffic flow work sans freeway. Vancouver never built freeways, thanks to a group of stubborn citizens who opposed them, but it’s nice to see other cities get rid of theirs. Look at everyone out walking where the freeway once was! As a monument to the disappeared freeway, several of its supports were left standing. They’re not half bad, in a brutalist way. If Seoul can rip out a freeway, perhaps one day Vancouver can rip out its hideous stadium with its dead-insect retractable roof.  Read the whole Seoul story at grist.


Tags: , , , , ,

3 Responses to “Unpaving paradise – Seoul rips out a freeway to expose a river”

  1. hena tayeb Says:

    oh wow.. that is just amazing

  2. iinekore Says:

    i love this river in seoul, only spent a short time there, but much of it was spent wandering along here. classic example of how a river breathes life through a city – couples, oldies, parents and kids, school children all walking/talking/enjoying beside the river. like the kamogawa in kyoto. so great to hear that it won out over the freeway. i hope vancouver can rid itself of stadium one day. melbourne has waaaay too many sporting ‘arenas’,

  3. LB Says:

    @iinekore I’m being overly hopeful and somewhat facetious. Our stadium won’t be torn down for ages. Stadiums and arenas downtown are such a bad idea, but ours is here to stay – it just got (in an extremely corrupt manner) the most expensive retractable roof in the world, costing $0.6 billion Canadian. The previous roof was inflatable and had airlock doors that slowed the flow of people in and out. Our gambling-addicted provincial government, in league with a Vegas casino company, wanted to attach a mega-casino to the stadium, and they wanted to get rid of the airlock doors so that nothing would impede the flow of sports spectators into the casino after a game. And this is for a casino that had not yet been approved by City Hall! So the taxpayers of BC, already in massive Olympic debt, now have to pay 600 million dollars for a hideous stadium roof we didn’t want (looks like a dead cockroach on its back, legs in the air). And the expanded casino will not receive approval and will never be built. It’s one of the worst, most corrupt boondoggles in Vancouver history–and that’s saying something.

Leave a Reply