Progress is in Korea’s DNA. In the course of one or two generations, they have emerged from deep poverty, rapacious oppression, crippling civil war, and repeated dictatorships to be a global economic power. That doesn’t happen without change - and a lot of it.
I’ve seen this on the local scale in Cheonan, mostly in the form of improved logistical infrastructure - better bridges, roads, sidewalks, and whatnot. But Cheonan has also made a host of improvements for quality of life. Parks, hiking trails, landscaping, and outdoor art come to mind.
On the hyper-local scale, our little street keeps improving season by season. They replaced the sidewalk tiles and curbs last year. This year, they moved all the trees from one side of the street to the other side because there wasn’t enough room to walk between the trees and the wall with an umbrella (which is important in a culture where so many people do so much walking). In addition, it seems that almost all of the apartments and storefronts in our neighborhood are continually making little improvements like remodeling, adding space here or there, or improving this or that service.
I guess it’s the progressive leader in me, but it just warms my heart to walk around see how things are getting better and better.