City Trees

March - April 2012

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Page 30 of 39

After our three-day visit to Suncheon, we headed north to Seoul where we were warmly welcomed by the municipal administration of Mappo-gu, one of the 25 districts that comprises South Korea's largest metropolis. Most memo- rable to me was the tour to World Cup Park, an immense ecological restoration project that converted a former toxic trash dump into premier park land. We also viewed the Cheonggyecheon stream restoration, another mas- sive public renewal project that was completed in 2005. Covered by concrete and an elevated bypass for years, the stream corridor was opened up and a nearly 7-mile (11.3- km) urban green space was created. Closeup of tree well shows how trees in Seoul are numbered with metal tags. The commitment I observed in both Suncheon and Seoul to ecological restoration was inspiring, and their efforts in urban forestry provide a remarkable example for any municipality. The Cheonggyecheon restoration project removed concrete and opened up a stream corridor. 31

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