BUSAN, South Korea – After some lengthy delays, Busan Citizen’s Park officially opened May 1st, becoming an instant landmark of the city as citizens have demanded more green spaces as the city has lacked a true urban landmark. With five themes and 29 attractions, the park is the latest in the city’s revitalization projects to attract visitors and establish itself as a world-class city.
The site of Busan Citizens Park was a racetrack during the Japanese colonial era, and after the independence of Korea, it became a U.S. military base, Camp Hialeah. In 2010, the area was returned to the Korean government, and then control was transferred to the city.
Busan Citizens Park will be the lungs of the city, as it covers an area of 530,800 square meters (131 acres) to encompass the Yeonji, Bujeon and Beomjeon-dong areas. Twenty-three buildings will be preserved. Noncommissioned officers’ lodgings and officers’ residences will be transformed into creative activity space for cultural artists of Busan. Quonset hut barracks will be renovated into Pororo Library, while the school building will become Citizens Sarangchae.
The area where the theater used to be will become a 100-seat performance venue called Vestige Theater. The lawn in front of the officers’ residence will be reinvented as Dasom Madang. The plaza at the center of the park will be called Hialeah Lawn Plaza, while the 25-meter (82-foot) artificial waterfall will be called Skylight Waterfall.
The Busan Citizens Park’s general information center and history hall will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The culture arts village, formerly the noncommissioned officers residence, and the Pororo Library will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A 4D experience hall will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In addition to the park, the Song Sang-hyeon Plaza, an urban square at the center of the city, will be opened June 12. This plaza will be larger than Gwanghwamun Plaza in Seoul, encompassing Jeonpo-dong and Yangjeong-dong in Busanjin-gu (district) with a total area of 34,000 square meters.
Near the plaza, there will be a cafe street, fashion street, food and performance street, pet dog street, and others. Street cheering events, a dance rock festival and other diverse events will be held at the plaza.
Source: Busan City News