Seoul City will consider removing and refurbishing artificial weirs and structures in the Hangang River as part of plans to revive its ecosystem, officials said Wednesday.
It will also replace artificial levees with sand banks and natural levees in areas that have no flooding risk.
The city government laid out plans to improve the environment of the river and make it more accessible to citizens.
The water quality indexes for most parts of the river indicate satisfactory levels, but improvements are still needed to reach a safer level, according to the city government.
With the aim of achieving the revival of the river by 2030, the city will make detailed long-term plans until the end of this year in cooperation with a citizens’ committee for the Hangang River and experts on aquatic systems.
“The city will make the river full of life where nature and humans can coexist, and restore habitats for plants and animals,” said Han Kook-young, the assistant mayor of the Hangang Project Headquarters.
Improving the quality of water in tributaries and streams, restoring historic views along the river, and setting up systemic governance of the river are among the plans, according to the city.
The Hangang River was the background of Jinkyung Sansuhwa, a painting drawn by Jungsun, a well-known Korean painter in the 17th century.
While keeping existing measures to prevent floods and allowing citizens access to parks along the river, the city said it will restore the healthy biodiversity in the river.
Four places in the river including the junction of Anyang and Hongje Streams and Yeouido Saetgang Ecological Park and Bamseom will be designated to be restored as habitats for fish and birds.
Four forests will be made this year on riversides including in Yeouido, Jamwon, Jamsil and Tancheon.
Schools, civil groups and private businesses will participate in developing the forests.
Various programs such as forums, cultural markets, and volunteer programs are also planned as parts of efforts to keep the river clean.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org