Regional and Urban Policy and Planning on the Korean Peninsula

Regional and Urban Policy and Planning on the Korean Peninsula

Chang-Hee Christine Bae and Harry W. Richardson

The potential for reunification of the two Koreas, whether in the short or long term, argues for a comprehensive look at policy and planning issues that encompass the peninsula as a whole. This book deals with spatial policy issues in both South and North Korea in a broad and non-political way.

Chapter 7: Greenbelt Policy

Chang-Hee Christine Bae, Myung-Jin Jun and Harry W. Richardson

Subjects: asian studies, asian urban and regional studies, economics and finance, regional economics, politics and public policy, public policy, urban and regional studies, regional economics, regional studies, urban economics, urban studies


Chang-Hee Christine Bae, Myung-Jin Jun and Harry W. Richardson Greenbelt (GB) policies have been one of the most controversial issues in the social, economic and political arena in Korea for the last three decades. There have been recurrent debates and conflict among landowners and residents within the Greenbelt, central and local government officials, politicians and environmentalists. Established in 1971, Seoul’s massive Greenbelt was rigidly maintained, except for some minor exemptions, over the years. The liberalization of the Korean economy and the democratization of Korean society have been accompanied by deregulation in many spheres. However, the Greenbelt policy remained tightly constrained (Bae, 1998), and only in the past few years have relaxations been made. Some scholars have suggested that the Greenbelt restricted economic growth in Korea and significantly raised the costs of development (Hannah et al., 1993), distorted land values (Choi, 1994), and lengthened commuting distances (Jun and Bae, 2000). Others argue that the environmental benefits of the Greenbelt are substantial (Choi, 1998; Yang, 1997) and have raised amenity values for the property around GB areas (Lee, 1999; Lee and Linneman, 1998). To our knowledge, there has been little research about how the GBs affect urban development patterns. Despite the fact that Korea’s GB policy is even older than Portland’s Urban Growth Boundaries (UGB) (Knapp, 1985; Nelson, 1985, 1986, 1988), there has been no comprehensive evaluation of the Greenbelt that measures the full economic and social benefits and costs of the Greenbelt or the effects of the Greenbelt on urban spatial...

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