Next time you’re in South Korea, make sure to check this out. Pavement covered up the Cheonggyecheon stream in Seoul, South Korea, for 40 years as it was used as a road. But in the early 2000s a new project came underway to restore the stream to its former glory. The Cheonggyecheon stream has now been transformed into an urban park that also helps the city. The restoration has improved the stream’s water quality and even acts to counter urban heat island effect in the central business district of Seoul.
The park entitled, “The ChonGae Sunken Stone Garden,” has been constructed using natural materials found throughout the country. Designed by Mikyoung Kim, it features two superblocks inside the canal’s corridor that allows residents to see the amount and quality of the water pouring from the source. The sloped stones found inside the garden help to act as a kind of water level gauge, allowing passer-byers to observe the current height of the stream. The reservation has been a huge success and the Sunken Stone Garden now acts as host to a multitude of festivities including concerts, fashion shows, and festivals. It’s also just a nice place to take a stroll.