Transformation of the Hongjecheon Stream, Seoul’s First Urban Waterside Attraction

November 11, 2022 | The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announced on November 11, 2022 that it has transformed the dilapidated waterside space by the artificial waterfall of the mid-Hongjecheon Stream in Seodaemun-gu which had been used as a parking lot and a warehouse into an attractive open-air waterside cafe for citizens to visit and relax over a cup of coffee.

As part of the city’s waterside facility renovation project, this marks the first urban waterside attraction and the first-ever waterside terrace cafe in Seoul where local residents can visit and enjoy waterside leisure in their daily life all in the comfort of their neighborhood.

The city is conducting its waterside facility renovation project across 75 streams and rivers citywide to provide citizens with outdoor space to enjoy a variety of leisure and social activities. This project aims to turn Seoul into a city with excellent waterside attractions for citizens’ welfare, and the initiative kickstarted last April aiming at four areas in the middle and upper reaches of the Jeongneungcheon, Dorimcheon, and Hongjecheon Streams.

The waterside terrace cafe by the Hongjecheon Stream, measuring 2,362-square-meters and installed in front of the artificial waterfall, was created after demolishing the dilapidated parking lot and warehouse. Here, visitors can also access the 291-square-meter music cafe and the 68-square-meter book cafe. Moreover, there are also rest areas on the deck stairs and yard by the cafe for visitors to enjoy the scenic site of the Hongjecheon Stream with a beverage, listening to music and ensconced in nature.

Through this initiative, local government of Seoul is looking to transform local waterside destinations into urban waterside attractions that can serve as linear green space for all citizens—pedestrians and cyclists alike. This is expected to create a positive impact of revitalising the local economy of the Hongjecheon Stream area. Seoul aims to propel its waterside facility renovation project to connect citizens and cultures by starting with the city’s first cafe terrace by the Hongjecheon Stream, and promoting the remaining areas of the Dorimcheon Stream, the Jeongneungcheon Stream, and the upper Hongjecheon Stream by next year. The city will implement the project at 10 additional locations through an open call for applications from districts so that more citizens can enjoy a variety of leisure and social activities at waterside spaces in their neighborhoods.