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Livable Cities: Neoliberal v. Convivial Modes of Urban Planning in Seoul

Mike Douglass 1

1하와이대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In East Asia two major factors contribute to a heightening policy focus on the livability of cities: (1) political reform accompanying the rise of civil society and the emergence of an affluent middle class wanting a better quality of life, and (2) intensifying intercity economic competition pursued through urban design aimed at achieving world city levels of livability. These factors place urban planning at a new divide as societies move away from the developmental state and the city it produced. One direction is toward the ‘neoliberal city’ oriented toward constructing large-scale sites of global consumption under corporate ownership and management of land and the built environment. Another presents a contrasting vision of a ‘convivial city’ that emerges from grassroots organizations and local business oriented toward smaller scale place-making and diversity in urban landscapes, including historic preservation and vernacular architecture. Elements of both types of cities can be found in Seoul. The gap remains large, however, and continues to be in favor of the emergent neoliberal city. Concerns about the social implications as well as the economic viability of the neoliberal city suggest much greater and immediate attention is merited for a convivial city mode of planning.

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Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.