Problems in Standardized Urban Regeneration
Anyone who is interested in urban development must have heard about the word "Urban Regeneration". In August 2018, President Moon Jae-in’s announcement about investing more than 50 trillion won in the New Deal Urban Regeneration project in five years has gained lots of attention. So, what is urban regeneration? The Seoul City Planning Dictionary defines Urban Regeneration as "Activating a city that is declining due to a reduction in population, reckless expansion of cities by using local resources." Unlike the past redevelopment methods, urban regeneration can preserve the area's individuality and develop regional competitiveness to grow on their own. However, as urban regeneration projects have failed to produce outcomes, they have been criticized that these projects follow the uniformity of previous redevelopment methods.
Urban regeneration projects take longer time than previous redevelopment. There are complaints from residents as they expected immediate rise in housing prices through the past quick redevelopment methods. In response, Professor Shim Kyo-eon of Konkuk University said, "Because we have to produce results under these circumstances, we have no choice but to carry out the same projects such as removing sidewalk blocks." The second reason is that the residents are not the main agents in urban regeneration. Currently, some of Seongbuk-dong's backward areas are not eligible for projects due to the government’s concerns over rising housing prices. Basic living necessities don’t exist in some areas of Seongbuk-dong, but nothing has been fixed.
In order to solve these problems, a deep understanding about characteristics of each individual region is needed. All relevant information should be collected as to why the area has declined and how to preserve its individuality. Thus, in this process, there must be information exchanges between the government, urban regeneration experts, and residents. Providing enough information to residents about urban regeneration can also reduce residents' dissatisfaction and increase activities in which residents can participate. It also requires bottom-up urban regeneration that minimizes the decision stage for urban renewal projects. We hope that various urban regeneration projects will emerge in the future that will enhance regional individuality.
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