A City full of Surprises:
One of the most underrated cities and cultures (in my opinion) is South Korea's Korean culture. Although it is commonly overlooked, South Korea is becoming more and more popular around the world. Its hustling and bustling city contains fragments of a culture that is both traditional and modern, bringing attention to those who seek a slice of history without abandoning modern luxuries. Seoul is considered one of the mega-cities of Asia because of its amazing economic progress, so it is uncommon to associate it with sustainability or "environmental stewardship."
Because of its increasing popularity around the world, South Korea's Seoul is starting to develop a population issue. With an increasing populace of 24.5 million, Korean leaders have initiated many projects focusing on environmental sustainability. These projects include the removal of an elevated highway to restore a stream through the heart of the city, riverfront park development, investments in transit, and a huge transition to electric-powered buses.
Cheonggyecheon Stream Restoration:
This project began in 2003 and ended 2005. The Cheonggyecheon Stream is six kilometers (3.728 miles) and follows the path of what was previously a highway. The highway was removed and replaced by this stream and two narrow parallel roadways. Although it received much criticism it received $900 million as an investment. Luckily, despite the low expectations, it is deemed one of the most successful projects of Lee Myung-Back
Enviromentally, the restoration of the Cheonggyecheon Stream has helped increased the wildlife in the area, it also cooled down the urban heat island effect in the close vicinity by an average of 38.5 degrees. It also decreased traffic and increased transit ridership.
Banpo Hangang Park:
South from the Han River, this bank has recently been transformed into a world-class park in an effort to restore the river's edge while at the same creating a fun, dynamic new park space for those living in congested Seoul.
Transit and Electric Buses:
Seoul, South Korea is home to the world's third largest subway system. In addition to that, it also has a booming bus system which Korean officials have determined to convert into an electric powered fleet. An enormous amount of 120,000 buses are intended to be transformed into electric powered communal transports by the year 2020, which is by far the most aggressive goal anyone has seen anywhere in the whole world.
To learn more about these Korean projects click here!