Yeosu resident kiwiduncan brings up an easily-missed point in all this hype about Yeosu's 2012 Expo. The idea of a "green" Expo is a goal as much as it is a theme. There are some projections about greening up the area, and you can find plenty of awkward English vaguely describing some aims on the Expo website, but I've seen little evidence of a commitment to the environment.
For instance there's the City Park Resort, an 18-hole golf course set for construction. According to this Dailan.co.kr article, the 1,163,458-square-meter site will also include a clubhouse and a 52-room tourist hotel, and will cost 90 billion won. And if I'm reading that article correctly---given my poor Korean that's unlikely---Yeosu wants to build 5 or 6 golf courses in town?
Drawing of the proposed 18-hole course, stolen from here.
Golf courses can be attractive, and some folks will turn on a golf tournament just to see the landscaping. But Yeosu and that area of the country prides itself on its natural scenery, so I don't think a new golf course---or five of them---will serve any great cosmetic purpose. And in a country like South Korea where open space is scarce, access to golf courses is a luxury, and an addition that won't serve the greater good.
Based on the following photograph, some homes and forest will be sacrificed for the new course.
Future location, perhaps, stolen from here.
I haven't been able to pinpoint exactly where this will go, but a couple of articles have said 봉계동, a small administrative division northwest of Chonnam University in old Yeocheon County. There have been protests against the displacement of homes and forests, but they were evidentally ineffective.
I don't live in Yeosu, and can't attest to these numbers, but based on Naver it looks like there are two golf courses in Yeosu already. Off the top of my head I know that nearby Suncheon has three country clubs and they're working on at least one more. And one of the article mentions a protester as saying, basically, that they're already putting in the 해양관광레저단지 (Haeyang Tourist Leisure Complex, roughly) in Hwayang-myeon, Yeosu, so why make more?
I have to guess that these additions are coinciding with Yeosu getting the 2012 Expo. But other parts of Jeollanam-do are developing as well. There's the Namak New City initiative going on in Muan, the Tourism and Leisure City in Haenam, the Gwangyang FEZ, and the Formula One tracks going into Haenam and Yeongam counties. The "Tourism and Leisure City" in Haenam, though, seems like it will be self-contained: people won't be visiting Haenam, they'll be visiting the resort. Same for other lesser-known resorts and waterparks in Naju and Jangheung. In Yeosu's case, these golf courses will have to complement the over developments coming over the next half-decade if the town will really become a popular tourist attraction. I mean, as the Yeosu Expo site says,
It is also an international marine resort tourism city in the new marine era of 21st century, developing into a beautiful port of Yeosu which is venturing into the world.
So there you go. But, as everybody knows, Yeosu doesn't have any attractions save for its quote-unquote natural beauty, and so while passing out construction contracts left and right will make some folks happy, I have to wonder if these plans aren't a bit . . . fucked up.
As kiwiduncan points out on that Dave's thread, it's unusual that, despite all the muddled Engrish about blue sea this and green environment that, all the upcoming developments thus far have been about expressways, airports, light rails, and distinctive landmarks. Given South Korea's track record on environmental issues---their reforestation efforts aside---I think that trend ought not to continue.
Future look of Yeosu? Stolen from here.
The Expo's theme deals with preserving the marine environment, so that's an easy excuse to build build build on land. So long as the golf balls aren't killing dolphins, I guess we're all right. I guess the only thing that could really screw up "The Massive Economic and Culture Event for Human" that is the Yeosu Expo would be if, like, a ship full of nitric acid crashed off the coast, or some shit like that. Oh, wait . . .