Seminar: Livable Cities and Community Participation in South Korea


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Seminar on Economics by Chang-Hee Christine Bae, Associate Professor, Department of Urban Design and Planning, University of Washington, Seattle; POSCO Visiting Fellow, EWC

When: Jul 24 2007 (All day)
Where: John A. Burns Hall, 3012 (Third Floor)

The history and evolution of the "livable city" concept, that focuses on the experience of place, environmental well-being, and overall quality of life, rather than traditional physical urbandesign, was developed primarily by American scholars such as Jane Jacobs, Kevin Lynch, Donald Appleyard and others after the 1960s. The key ideas were translated into implementable strategies by policymakers, professional planners and advocacy groups in many United States urban environments.

However, there is no neat definition of what constitutes livability. These concepts differ in their interpretations as to how livability should be approached and measured, but together represent some progress towards defining the specific ways by which places can become more livable.

Because the concepts of livability and citizen participation are far more developed in the United States, the research explores the transferability of these concepts to the South Korean context. In this talk, Dr. Bae will present a few cases of making communities more livable, e.g. the Cheonggye River Restoration Project in Seoul, a few interesting developments in other Korean cities such as Gwangju, and the central government's response. In addition, the Greenbelt reforms illustrate the beginnings of a participatory process.

Korea's top-down planning system remains an obstacle. A major challenge is to develop more micro-institutions, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to facilitate wider and deeper degrees of community participation.

Currently at the East-West Center on a POSCO Fellowship, Chang-Hee Christine Bae has a BA degree in Business Administration from Ewha Women's University, Seoul, a Master's degree in Regional Planning from the State University of New York-Albany, and a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include growth management and land use, transportation and the environment, and international development. She has published papers on Greenbelts, freeway-related air pollution, and livable cities, among other topics. Her edited books (with H.W. Richardson) include: Globalization and Urban Development (2004), Urban Sprawl in Western Europe and the United States (2004), and Road Congestion Pricing in Europe: Implications for the United States (in press). Her talk is an extension of an international research project on livable cities sponsored by the Korean Research Institute of Human Settlements (KRIHS).

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Anna Tanaka
Phone: 808-944-7607