You are here


Activating Management for Creation of the Waterway in Seoul

Young-Ran Kim, Jung-Kyu Jin


Since 2008, the Seoul Metropolitan Government implemented a waterway development project to improve the climate control capability of the city, and to create a living environmental amenity, by using the effluent groundwater dumped into sewer pipes. However, the waterway has being provided in a short period of time, without proper selection of the location and facility design standards, thereby causing various problems and discomfort to citizens.


This study is divided into three categories. 1) Establish the design and operation guidelines in which the various roles of the waterways are continuously maintained. 2) Responding to the needs of citizens, we selected the appropriate creation of the waterway demand areas, thereby providing a pleasant environment in the inner city. 3) The cost of constructing and managing creation of the waterway for reasonable budgeting was calculated.


Diagnosis of the condition of the nine waterways constructed since 2008 revealed the following. Analysis of the location and environmental conditions of the waterway showed that 33% of the waterways were constructed without access to the floating population. In addition, considering the usability aspect, 44% of the waterways were located in rivers in the area adjacent to, and with low demand for citizens.

Second, tap water was provided to the waterway, which was contradictory to the project purpose. Most of the water supplied was not circulated, and was discharged to the sewer or river, thereby leading to wastage of water resources. The water quality was also poor since pollutants were introduced from the road surface, and algae and odour were generated.

We further analysed and extracted 17 plan elements (safety, landscape, ecology, convenience and operation management) that quantitatively evaluate the waterway based on the implementation plan report, in order to comprehensively evaluate the nine waterways. As a result, landscape had the highest value of indicators in nine waterways, with all other elements being below normal level. Moreover, stability, operational management, and convenience of use were also below average levels. Convenience of use had the lowest rating among all categories. The nine waterways lacked the facilities for citizens to rest, and there was no system for communicating information, as there were only two waterways operating that provided the information signboards for users.


Creation of the waterways in Seoul should be based on guidelines and standards that can overcome limitations of the existing nine waterways, and which manifest various public interest functions. Therefore, the following three comprehensive guidelines need to be established.

First, this study proposes a guide to select the creation of a waterway demand area, to meet the needs of citizens. According to the guidelines, 13 sites were selected for the usability (area with daily average of more than 500 floating population), environment (area with more than 80% of the impervious area) and sustainability (area with effluent of groundwater from subway more than 300㎥ per day).

Second, this study provides guidelines for design and operation in which the diverse roles of creation of the waterway are maintained constantly. The recommendation consists of 15 guidelines, and considers the environment, safety, convenience, and sustainability. The guidelines are based on the level of the waterway to be designed and operated above the average level. In addition, since the type of the waterway, location, form and scale may differ depending on the local conditions, a separate selection criterion is provided so that it can be designed properly, considering the circumstances.

Ⅰ) Design guidelines considering the environment

The environmental guideline should meet the following requirements, based on 1㎞ of creation of the waterway. The environment criteria are as follows: ⅰ) 10 water-scape facilities, ⅱ) 100㎡ of underwater vegetation, ⅲ) 310㎡ of waterfront area vegetation, ⅳ) the waterways should be curved as much as possible. At the time of considering environmental factors, it should be decided whether or not to apply the standard, considering waterway type, budget, citizen demand, etc., and the shape of the waterway should be decided within the range that the walkway does not decrease in accordance with the walking security of the user.

Ⅱ) Design guidelines considering safety and convenience

The safety and convenience guidelines are based on a case of 1㎞ of creation of the waterway. The safety and convenience criteria are as follows: i) at least 20 night lamps should be built, ⅱ) two or more guide signs should be provided for users, ⅲ) 30 resting facilities should be built, ⅳ) if a pedestrian route exists, a width of 5m or more should be maintained. Rainwater drainage facilities should be installed during intensive rainfall

Ⅲ) Guidelines for Operational Management Considering Persistence

Most operational management guidelines are irrelevant to the channel length. The operation management criteria are as follows: ⅰ) The water quality standards are based on BOD 3㎎/L or less for the acceptance of recreation waterways, and the BOD 5 ㎎/L or less for scenic waterways. ⅱ) Establish water pollution prevention facilities that meet water quality standards. ⅲ) Use effluent groundwater etc. to maintain an amount of water above 350㎥ on average. ⅳ) More than 10 cleaning manpower should be added and arranged when constructing 1㎞ waterway. ⅴ) Perform environmental clean-up inside and outside the waterway more than once a month. At this time, distance type waterway roads with a relatively large number of users requirers cleaner management, more than seven times a month, by applying more stringent standards. ⅵ) In the direct management system of local governments, management personnel, information provision manpower, and crisis response manpower are to be arranged flexibly in consideration of the demand of the users, and the management status and measures should be recorded in the management register. ⅶ) Consignment operation is delegated to a certified professional institution, and the operation management status is monitored in connection with civic organizations and local residents.


Finally, this study proposes guidelines for the construction of creation of the waterways, and the operation management costs for reasonable budgeting. The construction cost formula was estimated using a multiple regression model, and the operation cost was estimated using a single regression model. If the waterway is 1㎞ long, the construction cost is 7.11 million won per unit meter extension, and the operation and management cost is 13,000 won per unit of meter extension per year.




01 Outline of Study

1_Background and Purpose of Study

2_Contents and Methods of Study


02 Current Status of Environmental Change and Project of Creation Waterway in Seoul

1_Environmental Change in Seoul

2_Project of Creation Waterway in Seoul

3_Satisfaction with Citizen’s Waterway Use


03 Law and Cases of the Creating Waterway Project

1_Laws and System of Project of Creation Waterway

2_Cases of Domestic and Foreign Project of Creation Waterway


04 Evaluation of the Conditions and Operation Conditions of Constructed Waterways in Seoul

1_Characteristics of 9 Waterways Status in Seoul

2_Comprehensive Evaluation of 9 Waterways in Seoul


05 Activating Management for Creation of the Waterway in Seoul

1_Basic Direction of Creation of the Waterway

2_Composition Guidelines for Creation of the Waterway

3_Guideline for Design and Management of Creation of the Waterway in Seoul

4_Selected Creation of the Waterway Demand Area