Seonyudo Park

Seoul, South Korea

Seonyudo Park is an award-winning ecological park, created by the conversion of a former water treatment plant.

Seonyudo Island lies in the Hangang River which runs through the capital city of South Korea, Seoul. The island is accessible from the city’s central neighbourhoods by motor bridge, a pedestrian footbridge and water taxis (ferries). Formerly the site of a sewage treatment plant, the island became an ecological park in 2002.

Seonyudo’s sewage treatment plant was operational from 1978 until 1998. In 1999, the Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to convert the island into an urban park as part of its ‘New Seoul’ initiative. This aimed to create more parks and leisure spaces, and to provide more cultural programming for Seoul citizens. The Hangang River was identified as a prime opportunity.

The proposals for the park drew on the island’s recent industrial heritage. The existing sewage treatment infrastructure was repurposed to frame and guide the design and its ecological planning. For example, former basins and conduits are now the settings for a variety of native aquatic plants. Chemical decomposition vats now house an aroma garden, a moss garden and a fern garden. Multi-level walkways and boardwalks take visitors on an informative and leisurely journey through the park via a museum dedicated to the Hangang River, a riverside cafeteria converted from a pump station, a gallery, a greenhouse, and a 200-seat amphitheatre. The park administration organises seasonal cultural events, and Seonyudo is a popular option for school tours.

The park successfully enhances Seoul’s liveability by providing a high-quality, environmentally responsible public space which is enjoyable and educational.

More about Seonyudo Park