Seoul to demolish another urban highway
Seoul may be the capital of removing freeways as a strategy for urban renewal. The city has torn down 15 highways since 2002 and plans to remove another from its center.
Philippe Mesmer reports in the Guardian that the city’s latest plan, to remove the Ahyeon overpass, marks a shift in its approach to city planning. Gone are the days when massive public works projects were the priority. Today, the city is more focused on fostering amenities like trams and bike lanes intended to make the metropolis of just under ten million more habitable.
The 1 km (.6 mile) long Ahyeon overpass was built in 1968 and is showing its age. It will be replaced by a street-level bus lane after the demolition is complete this August.
The 2003 removal of the Cheonggyecheon expressway demonstrates the possibilities. Its eradication paved the way for a 9 km (5.6 mile) manmade river and park that runs through the city’s core.