Global Street Design Guide

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Table of Contents

Global Street Design Guide

Case Study: Cheonggyecheon; Seoul, Korea

Location: Jung Gu (Central District), Seoul, South Korea
Population: 10.1 million
Metro: 25.6 million
Extent: 5.8 km (Length) 292,000 m(Area)
Right-of-Way: 50 m
Context: Mixed-Use (Residential/Commercial)
Cost: 386,739 million KRW (345.2 million USD)
Funding: Seoul Metropolitan Government
Project Sponsors: Seoul Metropolitan Government


The Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to dismantle the 10-lane roadway and the 4-lane elevated highway that carried over 170,000 vehicles daily along the Cheonggyecheon stream. The transformed street encourages transit use over private car use, and more environmentally sustainable, pedestrian oriented public space. The project contributed to a 15.1% increase in bus ridership and a 3.3% increase in subway ridership between 2003 and 2008. The revitalized street now attracts 64,000 visitors daily.


  • Improve air quality, water quality, and quality of life.
  • Reconnect the two parts of the city that were previously divided by road infrastructure.

Lessons Learned

Innovative governance and interagency coordination were critical to the process.

Public engagement, with residents, local merchants, and entrepreneurs, was important to streamlining the process.

Reducing travel-lane capacity resulted in a decrease in vehicle traffic.



Public Agencies
Central Government, Seoul Municipality, Seoul Metropolitan Government, Cultural Heritage Administration

Private Groups and Partnerships
Cheonggyecheon Research Group

Citizen Associations and Unions
Citizen’s Committee for Cheonggyecheon Restoration Project

Designers and Engineers
Seoul Development Institute urban design team, Dongmyung Eng, Daelim E&C

Close to 4,000 meetings were held with residents. A “Wall of Hope” program was developed to encourage involvement and resulted in 20,000 participants.


Key Elements

Removal of elevated highway concrete structure.

Daylighting of a previously covered urban stream.

Creation of an extensive new open space along the daylighted stream.

Creation of pedestrian amenities and recreational spaces (two plazas, eight thematic places).

Construction of 21 new bridges, reconnecting the urban fabric.

Project Timeline

Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.