Predominantly old and poor local residents who have lived adjacent to the Gwangju urban railroad have suffered from noise, vibration, pollution and traffic accidents due to passing trains since 1930s. The residents have required the relocation of the railroad. The residents and 32 civil society group organized “the Citizen’s Initiative for Gwangju Greenway”(hereafter Citizen’s Initiative) in 1999 and the Citizen’s Initiative has tried to make a movement for the railroad relocation.
The objectives of this movement are 1) to relocate the railroad to surburb,2)to establish the good public-private partnership in Gwangju City, and 3) to construct the greenway corridor on the abandoned railroad site for improving the resident’s quality of life and recovering the sustainable city function in Gwangju City.
After two years of strenuous negotiations, Gwangju City officially endorsed the Greenway Project on December 16th 2000, thus making of the Greenway began. By end of April 2008, about 60% of the Greenway has been completed and it will be constructed entirely this year.
Greenway by citizen’s participation; The fund of US$ 330,000 was raised by citizens to make "greenway by citizen’s participation." About 132 species of trees were planted and maintained by more than 7000 people in this Greenway.
Making urban villages; From 2007, the residents of Juwol 1 dong (an area of 1.61㎢, with 20,596 population) started a program for making-a—urban village along the greenway corridor.
Urban culture activation in the greenway; To complement the lack of cultural facilities, two units of train coaches donated by Korea Railroad were renovated and became a place for meetings and gatherings of the youth and the retiree volunteers. Also, it serves to function as a kids’ play lot or library, gallery for cultural exhibition.
Good evaluation and continuous partnership;
Railroad-to-Greenway Movement of Gwangju City has been evaluated as a successful partnership between NGO and GO, namely, local governance. The movement received 8 different awards and the successful project story has been spread through visitings of public officers and NGO workers from other cities. It also contributes to organizing the nation-wide network for greenway-making movement at the abandoned railroad site.