The Bulldozer Wins

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Lee Myung Bak, the "Bulldozer", was elected as President of South Korea on Wednesday. Read Norimitsu Onishi's article in the New York Times, The Evolution of a Man Called 'Bulldozer'.

Lee Myung Bak, while Mayor of Seoul, removed the 6-lane expressway that covered the Cheonggyecheon River. The road carried 160,000 cars a day and was perpetually jammed. Lee removed the highway and restored the river in just two years at a cost of $380 million. An 8km-long, 800m-wide, 400ha lateral park was created through the city. Twenty-two new bridges were built, reconnecting the city's street grid, and transit service was improved. The area has seen tremendous reinvestment and the threats of traffic chaos never materialized as citizens adapted to the new system.

Onishi writes, "The new stream became a Central Park-like gathering place here, tapped into a growing national emphasis on quality of life and immediately made the mayor, Lee Myung-bak, a top presidential contender."

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Seoul Man #1

Mayor Lee had the vision and courage to bulldoze the Freeway now he's President. Let that be a lesson to politicians. Good urbanism pays political dividends.

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