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Mayor's News

  • Publicizing the Remodeling of Hyochang Park into Centenary Memorial Park

  • Mayor's News SMG 462

    The city of Seoul has announced plans to turn Hyochang Park into an Independence Movement Memorial Park by 2024. This move is expected to improve the park. A rough sketch for the new Hyochang Park will be created through soliciting the opinions of the general public, including the surviving family members of independence activists, veterans, athletes and others in the soccer world, local residents, and ordinary citizens.

    On the second of the month, Seoul announced that it has completed organizing the Hyochang Independence Centenary Forum (referred to as the “Forum” now on), a governance group of 144 individuals who will take the lead in creating the Hyochang Independence Centenary Memorial Park (tentative name), and will start publicizing this fact to residents in earnest.

    The Forum will lead the establishment of a basic plan for the transformation of Hyochang Park, which will include a cemetery for independence activists and Hyochang Stadium. The Forum will also decide the timeline of construction and discuss any major issues that may arise. It will also be responsible for collecting feedback from people of all walks of life and ensuring that there is a social consensus by putting on a variety of participatory programs, including a hackathon, a symposium, an expo, and a public forum.

    On July 2, Seoul held a ceremony commemorating the decision to create the Hyochang Independence Centenary Memorial Park and the opening ceremony for the Hyochang Independence Centenary Forum in which the Mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon; Pi Woo-jin, the Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs; Chung Jae-suk, the administrator of the Cultural Heritage Administration; Sung Jang-hyun, the mayor of Yongsan-gu Office, and more and joined in participation at the convention hall (3F) of the main building of the Seoul City Hall.

    At the agreement ceremony and the opening ceremony for part one of the Forum, the city of Seoul and the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, the initiators of the project; the Cultural Heritage Administration, which owns the land; and Yongsan-gu, which is in charge of the management of the park, signed an MOU for collaboration between the four institutions, in order to solidify the foundation to conduct the project.

    The main content of the MOU include three conditions for the construction of the Hyochang Independence Centenary Memorial Park: ① having a playground, a cemetery, and a soccer field in separate but adjacent spaces, ② transforming the secluded park into an open attraction that is connected to local area and can always be used, and ③ dismantling part of the old playground and retaining the soccer field while preserving the history and the value of the space. The MOU also specified the role each institution will play to carry out these directives.

    The Hyochang Independence Centenary Forum is comprised of ▴ 43 forum commissioners and ▴ 101 citizens. The commissioners include 33 remaining family members of independence activists, veterans, figures from the field of soccer and other sports, and local residents, with 10 ex-official members. The citizens were selected through open recruitment. The Forum will be operated from June to December 2019 and general meetings will be hosted at least once a month.

    At the briefing session, part 2 of the event, the proceedings were shared with the Forum (forum commissioners and citizens) and regular citizens in attendance and the direction for the future was discussed. Presentations were made on three topics: ① the proceedings of the Forum and the planned direction, ② the basic plan for the Hyochang Independence Centenary Memorial Park, and ③ ways to interconnect the memorial space and playground. The representatives in each field offered their opinions and a Q&A session was held for attendees.

    Seoul has plans to set the basic plan within the year by collecting various ideas through the forum, holding a design contest in the first half of 2020, starting construction in 2021, and completing construction by 2024.

    On April 10, at Kim Koo Museum & Library, Mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon remarked that the city of Seoul, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, the Cultural Heritage Administration, and Yongsan-gu would be conducting a joint project to turn the Hyochang Park, where the tombs of seven independence activists who devoted their lives to the liberation of the country, including Baekbeom and Kim Koo, are located, into the Hyochang Independence Centenary Memorial Park to commemorate the Independence Movement.

    Mayor Park Won-soon said that “the concrete sketch for the Hyochang Park of the future will be drafted by the Hyochang Independence Centenary Forum, taking into consideration the opinions of the surviving family members of independence activists, veterans, sports figures, and local residents” and the “Hyochang Park has deteriorated with many facilities built in it over a long period of time it has lost touch with the lives of the people. We will restore the status of the park as a historic place where the independence activists who devoted their lives to the liberation of the country, like Baekbeom and Kim Koo, have been laid to rest, by turning it into an Independence Movement memorial park at which people can face, remember, and commemorate the history of the country’s independence in their daily lives.”