Cheonggye Stream has historically symbolized Seoul. After the Korean War, the condition of the stream greatly deteriorated. Informal refugee settlements and the accumulation of garbage quickly polluted the water and by the 1950s, the stream area had become a slum. From 1958 to 1978 the remaining portion of the stream was covered and built over to enhance the city’s road network and to act as a symbol of modern urban development. Located within the central business district, the paved Cheonggye Street was a thriving commercial and industrial area through the 1980s. However, toward the end of the 20th century, Seoul’s industrial structure was shifting toward hi-tech and the area rapidly declined. Learn about the restoration of Cheonggye Stream.
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