[LETTERS to the editor]Slow down on beautification

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[LETTERS to the editor]Slow down on beautification

Reading the Oct. 20 article, “Seoul campaigns to rid its city streets of clutter,” I agree with the observation [by Kim Seo-jin of Seoul] that “It will be meaningless to pursue a clean, attractive and global city without stabilizing the livelihoods of the people.”

The article says that the Seoul Metropolitan Government has invested tens of billions of won in its drive to beautify the nation’s capital and as part of those plans, Seoul city has replaced hundreds of outdated street stalls with brand-new stalls.

When I heard the news, maybe I should have been pleased about the new changes in Seoul. However, I thought about the poor people making a living out of those small stalls being driven from their work place. Why did this come to my mind?

Nowadays, the world’s economic situation as well as that of our country is so bad, and there are lots of jobless people around us. In this situation, Seoul city’s excessive plans and investment can cause people to be driven to the streets.

I think Seoul city should implement its plans more flexibly. Until we achieve a stable economic situation, instead of investing much money in large projects, Seoul city has to try to find the maximum of efficiency with the minimum of expense. Focusing on redesigning and replacing street facilities such as lighting, public benches, garbage cans, shop signs and footpaths as part of the integrated design projects of Seoul city will be a good way.

Finally, Seoul city has to try to improve its brand power. Countries around world have their own unique festivals. Through the festivals, they develop their brand value. Nowadays in our country, many provinces hold special festivals celebrating their area’s particular attributes. Likewise, Seoul has to focus more on developing unique cultural events.

Many people are saying the Korean economy is facing the greatest risks in 10 years. We have to muster our energies together on the individual and government level. I think Seoul city has to pursue its plans for progress more slowly and flexibly while considering the current economic hardship.

Lee Si-Eun, Seoul
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