Community Building Policy in Seoul, South Korea

Community Building Policy in Seoul, South Korea

  • Case
  • Teaching Notes

South Korea once enjoyed a tight-knit society, built on a powerful foundation of kinship, marriage and place of residence. But during the explosive economic boom of the 1970s to 1990s, those bonds began to fray, especially in the capital of Seoul. During the expansion, millions left their towns and villages to seek better opportunities in Seoul. From 1960 to 2011, the population quadrupled from 2.5 to 10.5 million.

Most of the newcomers moved into high-rise apartment complexes, where neighbors were anonymous and personal ties nonexistent.

In 2011, newly-elected Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon concluded that the situation had reached crisis proportions. Park announced a new Community Building Policy (CBP) and, in April 2012, created an advisory board of citizens, activists, city councilors and administrators. In August 2012, he ...

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