International Development Planning Review

Changing approaches to urban development in South Korea

From ‘clean and attractive global cities’ towards ‘hopeful communities’

International Development Planning Review (2013), 35, (4), 395–418.

Abstract

South Korea is one of the world's most urbanised countries. While the country is well known for the rapid economic growth and massive urbanisation in the past, it is overlooked that approaches to urban development in South Korea are beginning to change. The paper addresses this by considering different urban design projects in the Seoul metropolitan region in terms of how they address the local history and culture, the quality of everyday life, economic competitiveness, diverse uses of public space and civic participation in decision-making. The Kkummaru Visitors Centre, Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park, Bupyeong Culture Street and Gwanghwamun Plaza are discussed as case studies of recent urban design projects. While all cases show that novel approaches to urban development are taking place in South Korea, the paper argues that the urban design, which fails to sustain the existing social and cultural structures, to create inclusive places of social interaction or to involve citizens in the decision-making does not significantly differ from the past.

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AHN, K.-H. and KIM, J.-I. (2001), ‘A Study on the Reformation of the Traditional Clothing Markets in Seoul’, Journal of the Korea Planners Association, 36, 235-56. ‘A Study on the Reformation of the Traditional Clothing Markets in Seoul’ Journal of the Korea Planners Association 36 235 56 Google Scholar

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KIM, K.-J. and YOON, I.-S. (2003), ‘Urban Renewal and Change of the 20th Century Seoul’, in K. J. Kim (ed.), Seoul, Twentieth Century: Growth & Change of the Last 100 Years, Seoul, Seoul Development Institute, 543-96. Seoul, Twentieth Century: Growth & Change of the Last 100 Years 543 96 Google Scholar

KIM, K.-J. and CHOE, S.-C. (2011), ‘In Search of Sustainable Urban Form for Seoul’, in A. Sorensen and J. Okata (eds), Megacities, Urban Form, Governance, and Sustainability, Tokyo, Springer, 43-66. Megacities, Urban Form, Governance, and Sustainability 43 66 Google Scholar

KIM, M.-Y. and MOON, J.-M. (2010), ‘Dosi jaesaeng gwanjeomeseo munhwaui geori gongganteukseong bunseok [A Study on Spatial Characteristics of Cultural Streets in Urban Regeneration Aspects]’, Journal of the Korean Institute of Interior Design, 19, 161-68. ‘Dosi jaesaeng gwanjeomeseo munhwaui geori gongganteukseong bunseok [A Study on Spatial Characteristics of Cultural Streets in Urban Regeneration Aspects]’ Journal of the Korean Institute of Interior Design 19 161 68 Google Scholar

KIM, M.-I. (2009), ‘Agora created by ‘agoraphobia’ - Reflections on Gwanghwamun Square, Space, 503, 110-13. ‘Agora created by ‘agoraphobia’ - Reflections on Gwanghwamun Square Space 503 110 13 Google Scholar

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KRIŽNIK, B. (2009a), ‘Urban Change and Local Culture: Responses to Urban Renewal in Wangsimni’, Journal of Seoul Studies, 37, 117-53. ‘Urban Change and Local Culture: Responses to Urban Renewal in Wangsimni’ Journal of Seoul Studies 37 117 53 Google Scholar

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KRIŽNIK, B. (2011) ‘Selling Global Seoul: Competitive Urban Policy and Symbolic Reconstruction of Cities’, Revija za sociologiju, 41, 291-312. ‘Selling Global Seoul: Competitive Urban Policy and Symbolic Reconstruction of Cities’ Revija za sociologiju 41 291 312 Google Scholar

LEE, E.-J. (2006), ‘Local Self-Governance and the Citizens' Movement’, Korea Journal, 46, 129-54. ‘Local Self-Governance and the Citizens' Movement’ Korea Journal 46 129 54 Google Scholar

LEE, K.-E. (2009), ‘The Gwanghwamun Square: Limits and Significances’, Space, 502, 76-79. ‘The Gwanghwamun Square: Limits and Significances’ Space 502 76 79 Google Scholar

LEE, S. Y. (2009), Kkumkuneun Sangindeului Maeulmandeulgi [Dreaming merchants' communitymaking], Seoul, KRIHS. Kkumkuneun Sangindeului Maeulmandeulgi [Dreaming merchants' communitymaking] Google Scholar

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MAYER, M. (2007), ‘Contesting the Neoliberalization of Urban Governance’, in H. Leitner, J. Peck and E. S. Sheppar (eds), Contesting Neoliberalism: Urban Frontiers, New York, Guildford Press, 90-115. Contesting Neoliberalism: Urban Frontiers 90 115 Google Scholar

MAYER, H. and KNOX, P. L. (2006), ‘Slow Cities: Sustainable Places in a Fast World’, Journal of Urban Affairs, 28, 321-34. ‘Slow Cities: Sustainable Places in a Fast World’ Journal of Urban Affairs 28 321 34 Google Scholar

PORTNEY, K. E. (2003), Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously, Cambridge, MIT Press. Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously Google Scholar

SASSEN, S. (2001), The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, 2nd edn, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo Google Scholar

SEOUL DESIGN FOUNDATION (2011), Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park, Seoul, Seoul Design Foundation. Google Scholar

SEOUL DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (2003), Can Seoul Become a World City?, Seoul, Seoul Development Institute. Google Scholar

SEOUL DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (2007), Thematic Maps of Seoul, 2007, Seoul, Seoul Development Institute. Google Scholar

SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT (2006), Seoul, a Clean and Attractive Global City, Seoul, Seoul Metropolitan Government. Google Scholar

SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT (2012), Huimang Seoul, Sijeong unyeong gyehoik 2012-2014 [Hopeful Seoul, Seoul Metropolitan Government action plan 2012-2014], Seoul, Seoul Metropolitan Government. Google Scholar

SHORT, J. R. (2004), Global Metropolitan: Globalizing Cities in a Capitalist World, London, Routledge. Global Metropolitan: Globalizing Cities in a Capitalist World Google Scholar

SMITH, N. (2002), ‘New Globalism, New Urbanism: Gentrification as Global Urban Strategy’, Antipode, 34, 427-50. ‘New Globalism, New Urbanism: Gentrification as Global Urban Strategy’ Antipode 34 427 50 Google Scholar

SUH, M.-G. (2003), ‘Social sustainability in South Korea’, Development and Society, 32, 271-92. ‘Social sustainability in South Korea’ Development and Society 32 271 92 Google Scholar

URŠIČ, M. AND KRIŽNIK, B. (2012), ‘Comparing urban renewal in Barcelona and Seoul - urban management in conditions of competition among global cities’, Asia Europe Journal, 10, 21-39. ‘Comparing urban renewal in Barcelona and Seoul - urban management in conditions of competition among global cities’ Asia Europe Journal 10 21 39 Google Scholar

ZUKIN, S. (2010), Naked City, The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Naked City, The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places Google Scholar

AHN, K.-H. and KIM, J.-I. (2001), ‘A Study on the Reformation of the Traditional Clothing Markets in Seoul’, Journal of the Korea Planners Association, 36, 235-56. ‘A Study on the Reformation of the Traditional Clothing Markets in Seoul’ Journal of the Korea Planners Association 36 235 56 Google Scholar

CASTELLS, M. (1996), The Rise of the Network Society, Oxford, Blackwell Publishers. The Rise of the Network Society Google Scholar

CHO, M.-R. (2002), ‘Civic Spaces in Urban Korea: the Spatial Enrichment of Civil Society’, International Development Planning Review, 24, 419-32. ‘Civic Spaces in Urban Korea: the Spatial Enrichment of Civil Society’ International Development Planning Review 24 419 32 Google Scholar

CHO, M.-R. (2008), ‘From Street Corners to Plaza. The Production of Festive Civic Space in Central Seoul’, in M. Douglass, K. C. Ho and G. L. Ooi (eds), Globalization, the City and Civil Society in Pacific Asia, London, Routledge, 194-210. Globalization, the City and Civil Society in Pacific Asia 194 210 Google Scholar

CHO, M.-R. (2010), ‘The Politics of Urban Nature Restoration: The Case of Cheonggyecheon Restoration in Seoul, Korea’, International Development Planning Review, 32, 145-65. ‘The Politics of Urban Nature Restoration: The Case of Cheonggyecheon Restoration in Seoul, Korea’ International Development Planning Review 32 145 65 Google Scholar

CHOE, S.-C. (2005), ‘The impacts of globalization on the urban spatial-economic system in Korea’, in H. W. Richardson and C.-H. Bae (eds), Globalization and Urban Development, Berlin, Springer, 59-78. Globalization and Urban Development 59 78 Google Scholar

CHOI, C. (2011), ‘Show off Your Age: Interpretative Restoration of the Cultural Hall at the Children's Grand Park’, Space, 526, 82-86. ‘Show off Your Age: Interpretative Restoration of the Cultural Hall at the Children's Grand Park’ Space 526 82 86 Google Scholar

CHUNG, D.-Y. (2007), ‘International competition for the Dongdaemun World Design Park & Complex’, Space, 478, 112-13. ‘International competition for the Dongdaemun World Design Park & Complex’ Space 478 112 13 Google Scholar

CHUNG, H. (2009), ‘A Critical Review on Regenerating a Place's Economic Value through Landscape Restructuring: The Case of Dongdaemun Stadium’, Journal of the Korean Geographical Society, 44, 161-75. ‘A Critical Review on Regenerating a Place's Economic Value through Landscape Restructuring: The Case of Dongdaemun Stadium’ Journal of the Korean Geographical Society 44 161 75 Google Scholar

COLANTONIO, A. and DIXON, T. (2011), Urban Regeneration & Social Sustainability: Best Practice from European Cities, Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell. Urban Regeneration & Social Sustainability: Best Practice from European Cities Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

DEMPSEY, N. (2008), ‘Does quality of the built environment affect social cohesion?’, Urban Design and Planning, 161, 105-14. ‘Does quality of the built environment affect social cohesion?’ Urban Design and Planning 161 105 14 Google Scholar

DEMPSEY, N., BRAMLEY, G., POWER, S. and BROWN, C. (2011), ‘The Social Dimension of Sustainable Development: Defining Urban Social Sustainability’, Sustainable Development, 19, 289-300. ‘The Social Dimension of Sustainable Development: Defining Urban Social Sustainability’ Sustainable Development 19 289 300 Google Scholar

DOUGLASS, M. (2008), ‘Livable Cities: Neoliberal v. Convivial Modes of Urban Planning in Seoul’, Korea Spatial Planning Review, 59, 3-36. ‘Livable Cities: Neoliberal v. Convivial Modes of Urban Planning in Seoul’ Korea Spatial Planning Review 59 3 36 Google Scholar

FILIPOVIĆ, M. (2008), ‘Influences on the Sense of Neighborhood’, Urban Affairs Review, 43, 718-31. ‘Influences on the Sense of Neighborhood’ Urban Affairs Review 43 718 31 Google Scholar

FORREST, R. and KEARNS, A. (2001), ‘Social Cohesion, Social Capital and the Neighbourhood’, Urban Studies, 38, 2125-43. ‘Social Cohesion, Social Capital and the Neighbourhood’ Urban Studies 38 2125 43 Google Scholar

HA, S. B. (2009), ‘Gwanghwamunui jeongchihak: yesulgwa gweonnyeokui jaehyeon [The politics of Gwanghwamun: art and representation of political power]’, Korean Political Science Review, 43, 77-98. ‘Gwanghwamunui jeongchihak: yesulgwa gweonnyeokui jaehyeon [The politics of Gwanghwamun: art and representation of political power]’ Korean Political Science Review 43 77 98 Google Scholar

HARVEY, D. (1989), ‘From Managerialism to Entrepreneurialism: The Transformation in Urban Governance in Late Capitalism’, Geografiska Annaler, 71, 3-17. ‘From Managerialism to Entrepreneurialism: The Transformation in Urban Governance in Late Capitalism’ Geografiska Annaler 71 3 17 Google Scholar

HARVEY, D. (2012), Rebel Cities, London, Verso. Rebel Cities Google Scholar

HILL, R. C. and KIM, J. W. (2000), ‘Global Cities and Developmental States: New York, Tokyo and Seoul’, Urban Studies, 37, 2167-95. ‘Global Cities and Developmental States: New York, Tokyo and Seoul’ Urban Studies 37 2167 95 Google Scholar

HOOGVELT, A. (2001), Globalization and the Postcolonial World, 2nd edn, Hampshire, Palgrave. Globalization and the Postcolonial World Google Scholar

KANG, M.-G. (1998), ‘Understanding urban problems in Korea: Continuity and Change’, Development and Society, 27, 99-120. ‘Understanding urban problems in Korea: Continuity and Change’ Development and Society 27 99 120 Google Scholar

KIM, J.-H. (2011), ‘Architecture as a connector which connects the flows of time and space’, Space, 526, 94-97. ‘Architecture as a connector which connects the flows of time and space’ Space 526 94 97 Google Scholar

KIM, K., KIM, D., KIM, S., KIM, E., PARK, S., PARK, J., AHN, H., REIGH, Y., LEE, Y., JANG, O., HEO, Y. and HWANG, H. (2012), Uri, Maeulmandeulgi [Our Community Design], Seoul, Namudosi. Uri, Maeulmandeulgi [Our Community Design] Google Scholar

KIM, K.-J. and YOON, I.-S. (2003), ‘Urban Renewal and Change of the 20th Century Seoul’, in K. J. Kim (ed.), Seoul, Twentieth Century: Growth & Change of the Last 100 Years, Seoul, Seoul Development Institute, 543-96. Seoul, Twentieth Century: Growth & Change of the Last 100 Years 543 96 Google Scholar

KIM, K.-J. and CHOE, S.-C. (2011), ‘In Search of Sustainable Urban Form for Seoul’, in A. Sorensen and J. Okata (eds), Megacities, Urban Form, Governance, and Sustainability, Tokyo, Springer, 43-66. Megacities, Urban Form, Governance, and Sustainability 43 66 Google Scholar

KIM, M.-Y. and MOON, J.-M. (2010), ‘Dosi jaesaeng gwanjeomeseo munhwaui geori gongganteukseong bunseok [A Study on Spatial Characteristics of Cultural Streets in Urban Regeneration Aspects]’, Journal of the Korean Institute of Interior Design, 19, 161-68. ‘Dosi jaesaeng gwanjeomeseo munhwaui geori gongganteukseong bunseok [A Study on Spatial Characteristics of Cultural Streets in Urban Regeneration Aspects]’ Journal of the Korean Institute of Interior Design 19 161 68 Google Scholar

KIM, M.-I. (2009), ‘Agora created by ‘agoraphobia’ - Reflections on Gwanghwamun Square, Space, 503, 110-13. ‘Agora created by ‘agoraphobia’ - Reflections on Gwanghwamun Square Space 503 110 13 Google Scholar

KIM, S. (2011), ‘Democratization and Social Movements in South Korea: A Civil Society Perspective’, in J. Broadbent and V. Brockman (eds), East Asian Social Movements, Power, Protest, and Change in a Dynamic Region, Berlin, Springer, 141-56. East Asian Social Movements, Power, Protest, and Change in a Dynamic Region 141 56 Google Scholar

KRIŽNIK, B. (2009a), ‘Urban Change and Local Culture: Responses to Urban Renewal in Wangsimni’, Journal of Seoul Studies, 37, 117-53. ‘Urban Change and Local Culture: Responses to Urban Renewal in Wangsimni’ Journal of Seoul Studies 37 117 53 Google Scholar

KRIŽNIK, B. (2009b), Lokalni odzivi na globalne izzive: kulturni okvir preobrazbe Barcelone in Seula [Local responses to global challenges: Cultural frame of urban change in Barcelona and Seoul], Ljubljana, Založba FDV. Lokalni odzivi na globalne izzive: kulturni okvir preobrazbe Barcelone in Seula [Local responses to global challenges: Cultural frame of urban change in Barcelona and Seoul] Google Scholar

KRIŽNIK, B. (2011) ‘Selling Global Seoul: Competitive Urban Policy and Symbolic Reconstruction of Cities’, Revija za sociologiju, 41, 291-312. ‘Selling Global Seoul: Competitive Urban Policy and Symbolic Reconstruction of Cities’ Revija za sociologiju 41 291 312 Google Scholar

LEE, E.-J. (2006), ‘Local Self-Governance and the Citizens' Movement’, Korea Journal, 46, 129-54. ‘Local Self-Governance and the Citizens' Movement’ Korea Journal 46 129 54 Google Scholar

LEE, K.-E. (2009), ‘The Gwanghwamun Square: Limits and Significances’, Space, 502, 76-79. ‘The Gwanghwamun Square: Limits and Significances’ Space 502 76 79 Google Scholar

LEE, S. Y. (2009), Kkumkuneun Sangindeului Maeulmandeulgi [Dreaming merchants' communitymaking], Seoul, KRIHS. Kkumkuneun Sangindeului Maeulmandeulgi [Dreaming merchants' communitymaking] Google Scholar

LIM, H.-C. and JANG, J.-H. (2006), ‘Neo-liberalism in post-crisis South Korea: Social conditions and outcomes’, Journal of Contemporary Asia, 36, 442-63. ‘Neo-liberalism in post-crisis South Korea: Social conditions and outcomes’ Journal of Contemporary Asia 36 442 63 Google Scholar

MIN, T.-U. (2012), ‘Jigudanuigyehoikui bonjilgwa beopjedoui jaegeomto [The Essence of District Unit Planning and Reconsideration of Related Legal System]’, Public Land Law Review, 57, 171-92. ‘Jigudanuigyehoikui bonjilgwa beopjedoui jaegeomto [The Essence of District Unit Planning and Reconsideration of Related Legal System]’ Public Land Law Review 57 171 92 Google Scholar

MANZI, T., LUCAS, K., JONES, T. L. and ALLEN, J. (2010), Social sustainability in urban areas: communities, connectivity, and the urban fabric, London, Earthscan. Social sustainability in urban areas: communities, connectivity, and the urban fabric Google Scholar

MAYER, M. (2007), ‘Contesting the Neoliberalization of Urban Governance’, in H. Leitner, J. Peck and E. S. Sheppar (eds), Contesting Neoliberalism: Urban Frontiers, New York, Guildford Press, 90-115. Contesting Neoliberalism: Urban Frontiers 90 115 Google Scholar

MAYER, H. and KNOX, P. L. (2006), ‘Slow Cities: Sustainable Places in a Fast World’, Journal of Urban Affairs, 28, 321-34. ‘Slow Cities: Sustainable Places in a Fast World’ Journal of Urban Affairs 28 321 34 Google Scholar

PORTNEY, K. E. (2003), Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously, Cambridge, MIT Press. Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously Google Scholar

SASSEN, S. (2001), The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, 2nd edn, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo Google Scholar

SEOUL DESIGN FOUNDATION (2011), Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park, Seoul, Seoul Design Foundation. Google Scholar

SEOUL DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (2003), Can Seoul Become a World City?, Seoul, Seoul Development Institute. Google Scholar

SEOUL DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (2007), Thematic Maps of Seoul, 2007, Seoul, Seoul Development Institute. Google Scholar

SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT (2006), Seoul, a Clean and Attractive Global City, Seoul, Seoul Metropolitan Government. Google Scholar

SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT (2012), Huimang Seoul, Sijeong unyeong gyehoik 2012-2014 [Hopeful Seoul, Seoul Metropolitan Government action plan 2012-2014], Seoul, Seoul Metropolitan Government. Google Scholar

SHORT, J. R. (2004), Global Metropolitan: Globalizing Cities in a Capitalist World, London, Routledge. Global Metropolitan: Globalizing Cities in a Capitalist World Google Scholar

SMITH, N. (2002), ‘New Globalism, New Urbanism: Gentrification as Global Urban Strategy’, Antipode, 34, 427-50. ‘New Globalism, New Urbanism: Gentrification as Global Urban Strategy’ Antipode 34 427 50 Google Scholar

SUH, M.-G. (2003), ‘Social sustainability in South Korea’, Development and Society, 32, 271-92. ‘Social sustainability in South Korea’ Development and Society 32 271 92 Google Scholar

URŠIČ, M. AND KRIŽNIK, B. (2012), ‘Comparing urban renewal in Barcelona and Seoul - urban management in conditions of competition among global cities’, Asia Europe Journal, 10, 21-39. ‘Comparing urban renewal in Barcelona and Seoul - urban management in conditions of competition among global cities’ Asia Europe Journal 10 21 39 Google Scholar

ZUKIN, S. (2010), Naked City, The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Naked City, The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places Google Scholar

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Križnik, Blaž