SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Korea Bizwire) – The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Wednesday it will embark on projects to restore and beautify a neighborhood of traditional Korean houses in central Seoul.
The city government plans to build historic cultural streets in Seochon, or “western village,” which stretches out from the western wing of Gyeongbok Palace and stretches all the way up to the base of Mount Inwang.
The plan is to enlarge the pedestrian passages from 1 meter to 4 meters, repave roads and restrict building heights in the area to maintain the view of the mountain.
The metropolitan government also said it will introduce a certificate system for well-made hanok, or traditional Korean houses, this year with an aim to prevent the traditional assets from disappearing in the city.
The city government said it plans to certify three hanoks as well as a total of 27 master artisans — three each from nine different sectors — related to the traditional housing style every year. The city said it will earmark 50 million won (US$42,000) for the project.
“With the introduction of the certificate system, (we) will be able to lead the environment for high-class and high-quality hanok construction by providing exemplary models of Seoul’s hanoks and inspire confidence and responsibility in artisans and those who possess certified hanok,” the municipal government said.
It will start developing the certification mark and standard for selection this month and complete the selection before the end of this year.