Gwanghwamun Square as the Central Hub of the Republic of Korea

  • A pivotal space that reflects millennial national management philosophy and people-oriented idea
  • The site of civic consciousness that created history from the March 1st Independence Movement to the Candlelight Revolution
  • A major citizen-centered space where various citizens’ activities take place

Rise in demand for the renovation of Gwanghwamun Square

  • A lack of public amenities and rest areas
  • Necessity to revive the historical significance of the front yard of Gwanghwamun Gate
  • Necessity to improve pedestrian accessibility

Changes in conditions

  • Creating pedestrian accommodation in the heart of the city
  • Reassuring Group Agreement through a number of public discussions
  • Designation of Green Traffic Promotion District in Downtown Area of the Seoul City Wall (Notice of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, No. 2017-144, March, 15, 2017)

Background of the Gwanghwamun Square Renovation Project

Bike-friendly city
  • SEP 2016

    Gwanghwamun Forum

    (announcement of the principles and goals of the square renovation project)

  • APR 2017

    Joint announcement on the renovation of Gwanghwamun Square

  • MAY 2017

    Citizens’ forum on the renovation of Gwanghwamun Square

  • APR 2018

    Joint announcement on the basic plan of the Gwanghwamun Square Renovation Project

  • OCT 2018 – JAN 2019

    Renovation design competition and announcement of winners

  • SEP 2019 – DEC 2019

    Community presentations for local residents

  • NOV 2020

    Groundbreaking for the Gwanghwamun Square Renovation Project

  • MAY 2021

    Excavation of buried cultural heritage and open access to the public

  • JUN 2021

    Announcement of the plan for the renovation and development of Gwanghwamun Square

Revised Development Direction for Gwanghwamun Square in Accordance with Citizens' Opinion

Pedestrian Traffic

  • Partial
  • Entire

Development Stage

  • Temporary
  • Phased

Spatial Purpose

  • Symbolic as the nation’s
    central hub
  • Utilitarian as a public square
    with park elements


  • Temporary
  • Phased (reduced)

Objectives of the renovation and development plan

Planning consultation with the authorities concerned on the project for the renovation and development of Gwanghwamun Square
    • Promotion of historical significance of Gwanghwamun Square
    • Restoration: Woldae of Gwanghwamun; Preservation: archaeological features; Exhibition: Yukjo Geori and waterways
    • Storytelling about the history and culture of Gwanghwamun Square
    • Content: Admiral Yi Sun-sin (“twelve vessels still safe in the navy” and “twenty-three battles fought and won”),
      King Sejong (Hangeul and human-centered ideology), Woldae of Gwanghwamun, Haechi statues, etc.
    • Connection: Development of programs for promotion and connection between content, and connection with the tourist attractions outside the square
    • Preparation of the strategies to promote the connection between the square and the surrounding area
    • Promotion: Integrated use of the square and the surrounding area
    • Role: Key facilities by public corporations, and supporting facilities by private companies
    • Operation: Planning integrated services in event planning, operation, facility management, marketing, and PR activities