Guardian reports on successful highway removal (and Braess' Paradox)
The Guardian, a leading British newspaper, reports on how Seoul, a city of nearly ten mllion people, rediscovered its heart underneath a highway carrying 160,000 cars a day:
[I]n a revolutionary act of ecological restoration that is now being examined around the world, the city of Seoul, under the leadership of the then mayor, Lee Myung Bak, pledged in 2002 to restore the river, tear down the motorway and create a five-mile long, 800-yard wide, 1,000-acre lateral park snaking through the city where the river once ran...
"The tearing down of the motorway has had both intended and unexpected effects. As soon as we destroyed the road, the cars just disappeared and drivers changed their habits. A lot of people just gave up their cars. Others found a different way of driving. In some cases, they kept using their cars but changed their routes."
The city had beefed up its bus service and given people options to avoid the motorway, and the effect on the environment was remarkable. [Kee Yeon] Hwang [professor at Hongik University]] says... "many birds came back, plus fish, insects and plants. The variety of wildlife has vastly increased since we tore up the road."
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