Place space Culture identity Systems resources power environmental planner

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					Place & space           Culture & identity            Systems, resources & power

                 Would you be a good
   environmental planner?
Picture in your mind the main street of your nearest city or large town.
Imagine that you have just read about a proposal for an exciting new development in that street. It involves
the restoration of an historic stream that originally flowed where the street was built.
I Brainstorm and create a list of impacts that this development might have during its construction, and
    after its completion. For example, would it have an impact on traffic flow? Would it have an impact on
    local traders along the street? And so on. Organise your ideas under these three headings:

  Impacts on people                          Impacts on the human-made                  Impacts on the natural
                                             environment                                environment

2 Decide if each impact would be mainly positive, or mainly negative.
                                                                                             Curriculum Guide
The introduction above called this an ‘exciting’ development. But not every person
                                                                                             By the end of this unit students will
might find it exciting, and approve of it. Some might find it threatening, and
                                                                                             be better able to:
3 List any people or groups in the community who might oppose the                            • understand how human activities
                                                                                               affect the environment
    development, and briefly explain their likely reasons.
                                                                                             • appreciate how uses of the
4 What do you think the body responsible for this development would need to do                 environment can change over time
    before it decided to go ahead with this development? Make a list of the things           • analyse and apply good planning
    that you think would need to happen. For example, they might need to consult               principles to address the impacts
    with experts; or consult with local people; or do a traffic impact survey; etc.            of change
This situation is actually being faced at the moment on a grand scale in one of              • identify changes and continuities
the great cities of the world, Seoul, in South Korea.                                          in attitudes to sustainable
The issues the developers are facing, and the ways they are going about                        development in an Asian area
developing solutions and strategies, can tell us much about principles of                    • reflect on the significance of place
environmental development and sustainability in an urban context. Look at the                  in a society
information that follows and make your decision: What do you do with the                     • consider the idea of ‘stewardship’
Cheonggye stream? You will then be able to apply the model you develop to a                    in urban developments.
real development in your own area.

                                                                                             Embassy of the Republic of Korea and    23
                                                                                                     Ryebuck Media Pty Ltd 2004
This article focuses on a development in          6 What is your image of South Korea? What is your image of Seoul?
South Korea, in Seoul.                               List the words and ideas that you first think of.
5 Identify South Korea on this map. You
     may need to go to an atlas to check if        South Korea                             Seoul
     you are correct, or go to


Web Activity                                     y2XDL           South Korea is one of the great economic success stories of
                                                                 modern Asia. Read the Background Briefing below and then
Go to
                                                                 test yourself as a decision maker!

to see some images of South Korea and Seoul, and decide
if each image surprises you, or is what you expected. You           Background Briefing
will see such images as these in full size there.
                                                                    South Korea has a long history as a civilised and cultured
                                                                    The peninsula was first inhabited about 30,000 years ago
                                                                    by people from central and northern Asia. These tribes
                                                                    gradually came together to form a united people.
                                                                    By 700 AD an indigenous Korean culture, literature,
                                                                    language and arts had developed, and continued to flower
                                                                    over the next centuries.
                                                                    In 1904 Japan invaded Korea, and in 1910 officially
                                                                    claimed control of it. The Japanese remained there until
                                                                    their defeat at the end of World War II in 1945. Since then
                                                                    the Korean peninsula has been divided into two:
                                                                    democratic South Korea and communist North Korea.
                                                                    In 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea. A sixteen-
                                                                    nation United Nations force, led by the United States and
                                                                    including Australian troops, was sent to the peninsula to
                                                                    fight for the South against the North and its Chinese allies.
                                                                    Over three years several million Koreans, soldiers and
                                                                    civilians, were killed, and much of the country was
                                                                    destroyed in bitter fighting.
                                                                    An armistice was signed in 1953, splitting the Peninsula
                                                                    along a demilitarised zone at about the 38th parallel. On
                                                                    August 15, 1948 the Republic of Korea was established,
                                                                    with Syngman Rhee as the first president; on September
                                                                    9, 1948, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was
                                                                    established under Kim Il Sung.
                                                                    South Korea now experienced years of political turmoil

                                                                    under years of autocratic leadership. Military coups and
                                                                    assassinations characterized the country’s first decades.
                                                                    But a vocal civil society emerged that led to strong
                                                                    protests against authoritarian rule, paving the road for the
                                                                    first democratic elections in 1987.
                                                                    Despite this, the country had achieved extraordinary
                                                                    economic growth under a series of five-year plans, starting
                                                                    in 1962. The initial emphasis was on industrialisation, and
                                                                    accelerated a structural readjustment of industry from
                                                                    subsistence agriculture to modern manufacturing and
                                                                    export trade.
                                                                                                                    continued >>
24        Embassy of the Republic of Korea and
          Ryebuck Media Pty Ltd 2004
During the second stage of the economic development plan,
the government continued with the expansion of mostly labor
intensive export industries. A New Village Movement
(Saemaul Undong) helped modernise rural areas and
reduced income variances between urban and rural residents.
Over the past thirty-five years Korea has enjoyed an annual
average growth of 8.6 percent and has grown into the world’s
11th largest trading nation. In less than two generations,
Korea has established itself as one of the world’s leading
shipbuilders and manufacturers of electronics, semi-
conductors and automobiles.

You can find out more about the industrialisation of Korea on
page 41 of this edition of STUDIES, and see the ‘Korea in
Brief’ table at:

What do you do with
the Cheonggye Stream?
Making decisions – 1962 style

It is 1962 and you are a decision-maker in Seoul.
The main waterway is the Han River, a large river that is
important for trade.
There is another waterway, the Cheonggye stream, which
flows right through the middle of Seoul.
                                                                                             Some images of the old Cheonggye stream
Seoul was basically built around it, and it used to be an
important cultural part of the city, particularly some of the
                                                                  Cheonggye stream is one that offers a large space that can
bridges, which were the focus of traditional social activities.
                                                                  be used to help Seoul modernise.
In 1760 it was widened and straightened, but since then
                                                                  A proposal has been put to complete the filling in of the
has slowly silted up. These days there is usually very little
                                                                  stream, and create an elevated freeway over it, and a
water in it.
                                                                  commercial area under it.
However, it is subject to periodical flooding because when
                                                                  What do you do with the stream? There are three options:
it does flow freely it drains into the Han river, and water
                                                                  • leave it as it is
cannot force its way into that major river, so backs up.
                                                                  • fill it in and create a modern freeway along the route with
Many dispossessed people lived along its banks in shanties,         a commercial area
and make it very polluted with rubbish and sewerage,              • restore it to create a beautiful environment.
making it very unhealthy, and a breeding ground for disease.
                                                                  7 Discuss the options, and make your choice.
It was covered over in part by the Japanese during the
1930s and 1940s.                                                  The decision that was made was to fill it in and create a
                                                                  modern freeway and commercial area.
Now, some people believe that it needs to be developed
further.                                                          8 What do you think would have been the main reasons
Seoul, and all of South Korea, needs to develop industrially          at the time for that choice being made?
if the people of the nation are to have a good standard of        9 What values does that decision suggest were the most
living. A modern urban industrialised society needs roads,            important ones for that society at that time?
cars, factories and shops. These will help provide jobs and
                                                                  10 How would you decide or judge if that was a good
the development that are needed for Korea to modernise.
                                                                      decision? Discuss possible criteria to apply.
There are few areas that can be developed easily, but the

                                                                                            Embassy of the Republic of Korea and   25
                                                                                                    Ryebuck Media Pty Ltd 2004
What do you do with                                              There are limited areas in the city where tourists and locals
                                                                 can enjoy a quiet and calm natural environment. Some
                                                                 tourists even refer unkindly but with some element of

the Cheonggye Stream?                                            justification to ‘soulless Seoul’.
                                                                 Public attitudes to growth and development have changed
                                                                 over time, with much greater awareness of the need for
Making decisions – 2003 style                                    sustainable development, rather than just development.
                                                                 A proposal has been put to pull down the freeway and
                                                                 restore the old Chonggye stream.
It is now 2003.
                                                                 What do you do? There are three options:
South Korea is recognised as a leading Asian nation.
                                                                 • leave it all as it is and see how long it lasts
In 1988 Seoul hosted a very successful Olympic Games,            • repair the freeway system
and in 2002 an equally successful World Cup in soccer.           • restore the stream to create a beautiful environment.
The Cheonggye freeway is starting to decay. It is in need        11 Discuss the options, and make your choice.
of major structural repair, and traffic has been restricted to
passenger vehicles only.                                         The decision that was made was to tear down the freeway
                                                                 system and restore the stream.
The area along the freeway has become stagnated in its
development. The area is ugly, and exhaust fumes are             12 What do you think would have been the main reasons
unpleasant, as the images below show.                                for that choice being made?
It is crowded, noisy, and an eyesore, with many small            13 What values does that decision suggest are the most
‘flea-markets’ and street vendors in the area.                       important ones for that society at this time?
                                                                 14 How would you decide or judge if that was a good
                                                                 This last question is a very difficult one to answer, but there
                                                                 are ways of approaching it that help us with critically
                                                                 analysing any development situation.
                                                                 15 Here is some more information about the development.
                                                                     What issues do they raise that must be dealt with in the

                                                                   • 220,000 merchants will be affected by development
                                                                     to the area covered by the freeway system.
                                                                   • 170,000 vehicles per day will be affected – 63%
                                                                     of them use the freeway for transit, 37% to a city
                                                                   • The average vehicle speed is 28.8 kph.
                                                                   • 19,000 buses use the freeway per day, which is
                                                                     25% of all Seoul bus traffic.
                                                                   • There are 6,000 buildings that will be affected by
                                                                     the development (29% office, 49% commercial,
                                                                     13% residential).
                                                                   • Surrounding streets will be made into a one-way
                                                                     grid to allow smoother traffic flows.
                                                                   • There will be additional development of bus routes
                                                                     to reduce private car use.
                                                                   • The development will include the new stream, its
                                                                     banks, and a two-lane road on either side, but will not
                                                                     involve the surrounding buildings and their size, use,
                                                                     style or ‘adornments’ (such as advertising signs).

                                                                 16 Create a set of steps that you would follow in reaching
                                                                     a decision, and then implementing any changes. For
                                                                     example, would you survey the local people? Would
                                                                     you educate people? Would you consult with experts?
                                                                     List your steps in order, and then compare your
                                                                     sequence to what has actually been done.

26        Embassy of the Republic of Korea and
          Ryebuck Media Pty Ltd 2004
Here is what has actually been done.

  1 There is recognition that a problem exists.
                                                            What will the new
  2 Alternative proposals are considered.
  3 Information is gathered on the feasibility of various
                                                            Cheonggye Stream
    solutions or options.
  4 A committee is set up – including specialists,
    academics, interested parties, local people.
                                                            look like ?
  5 A decision is made.
                                                            18 Look at the images below and on the back cover of this
                                                                  issue of STUDIES to see an artist’s images of the
  6 Development is planned to occur in stages.
                                                                  completed stream. Create a list of the features that
  7 Plans are created to minimise the impacts of                  you notice. (For example, notice the grass banks,
    development at each stage, for example by working             recreation space, etc.
    out traffic flow strategies that will minimise
    interruption to normal travel routes and times.         You can see more detail at
  8 An education process is implemented to explain the      
    development and its impacts.
  9 Development starts.
                                                            Here are some of the words used in an official brochure
                                                            about the development:
17 Compare it with your list. Is this a good approach? Do
    you think there are any other stages or elements that   •   Attractive waterfront
    should have been included? Discuss your answers.        •   Enjoyable
                                                            •   Green axis linking other areas
                                                            •   Neighbouring areas to grow
                                                            •   Transform image
                                                            •   Identity
                                                            •   Preservation
                                                            •   Sustainability
                                                            •   Harmony
                                                            •   Restoration
                                                            •   Revitalisation
                                                            •   Human and natural interaction
                                                            19 Do you think the brochure is justified in using these
                                                                  descriptions of the development? Explain your reasons
                                                                  in each case.


                                                                                       Embassy of the Republic of Korea and   27
                                                                                               Ryebuck Media Pty Ltd 2004
Reflection and follow-up activities
Look at this chart of various elements that have to be considered with an environmental development issue.
20 Complete the chart for the Cheonggye stream development.


 What is the proposed change?
 Where is this change to be made?
 Why is the change being made?
                                                  Environmental planning guide
                                                     Cheonggye stream development
                                                                                          A development in your own area

 What are the expected outcomes of the change?
 What will be the impacts of the change on:
  • people?
     • the environment?
     • the economy?
     • society?
 Who will benefit from the change?
 Who will suffer as a result of the change?
 What will it cost?
 Who will pay?
 What information is needed to assess it?
 Are there other alternatives available?
 What process is being used to implement it?
 Whose input is needed?
 Who makes the decision?
 Has a good decision been made?
 Would you support this change?

21 Look at your own home, school or local area. Consider
     a possible environmental development – such as an
     urban forest element in your school, or a native plant
     area of your garden, or a stream restoration project in
     your community. Complete this planning guide, and then
     discuss the feasibility of your ideas. Are there any other
     elements that need to be added to this chart?
                                                                      23 Imagine that you have the chance to visit Seoul in 10
22 The Cheonggye area is a symbol of the changes that                    years’ time. What will you find? Choose one of the three
     have occurred in Korea over time. ‘Looking back, there              different stretches of the Cheonggye Stream
     is no place that more represents Seoul’s history and                redevelopment shown at and try to
     development during the past 50 years more than                      predict what changes might have occurred over this time.
     Cheonggyecheon. The stream has gone from a symbol                24 Imagine that the Seoul Metropolitan Government has
     of filth and poverty at the end of the 1950s to a symbol            asked you to prepare an educational and information
     of industrialization and modernization in the 1960s and             brochure on ‘Seoul – City of culture and environment
     1970s. It’s gone from being the center of urban industries          in the 21st century’. Prepare a section describing the
     including tools, printing and apparel to an obstacle to             Cheonggye stream in that brochure. The class might
     urban redevelopment in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2003,                also select other elements – such as sport, culture,
     uncovering the Cheonggyecheon stream and repairing                  heritage, shopping, arts, music – and different groups
     40 years of damage is becoming reality. A new page in the           could each contribute a section to the brochure. The
     history of the Cheonggyecheon stream will soon begin.’              Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Canberra would
     (              be delighted to see your work!
     history_06.htm) Is there a similar place or site in your
                                                                     For more information on progress of the Cheonggye stream
     community that illustrates changes in attitudes and values
                                                                     project go to the Seoul Metropolitan Government website at
     over time? Discuss this idea.

28         Embassy of the Republic of Korea and
           Ryebuck Media Pty Ltd 2004