The South Korean government believes that the country needs a new government to relieve congestion in Seoul Metro



FRONT PAGE
SiteSearch
About us
Directories


New capital for South Korea
Japan post-tsunami development
S Korea - local government
Seoul development
Green mega cities
Cities' future
South Korean elections 2006
Urban development in Asia
World Environment Day 2005
Tsunamis
US built environment in 2030
South Korean Intelligent Cities
New Urbanism
Les Halles, Paris
2006 Pritzker Prize
Chicago's new Millennium Park


City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa | Events |


Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa are competing for the annual World Mayor Award. More


City Mayors ranks the world’s largest as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More


City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More


City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More


City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world and questions them about their achievements, policies and aims. More


City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More


City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More


City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More


City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More


City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More


City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More


City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More


City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More


City Mayors examines the importance of urban tourism to city economies. More


City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More


City Mayors invites readers to write short stories about people in cities around the world. More


City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More


City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More


City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More


South Korea announces
plans for new capital city

By Renato Pesci, Built Environment Editor

12 August 2004: South Korea is following Brazil’s example by planning to build itself a new capital city. The government announced on 11 August 2004, that it had chosen a site of some 7,130 hectares in the Yeongi-Gongju region, 150 kilometres south-east of Seoul. A government spokesman told City Mayors that construction would start in 2007 and that by 2012 the first government departments would be operating in the new city. The final replacement of Seoul as the South Korea’s seat of parliament and government is not expected before 2020.

The Yeongi-Gongju region, which was chosen from a list of four finalists, won on transport and environmental grounds. The site is close to existing high-speed railway lines and express-ways. The Cheongui airport is also nearby.

South Korea, with some 48 million people, is a densely populated country. The land per capita is 2,310 m2, smaller than that of France (12,540 m2), the United Kingdom (4,290 m2), and Japan (3,102 m2). South Korea, with its population density at 460 persons per km2, has the fourth highest population density in the world, coming after Bangladesh, Germany, and Taiwan, excluding the city states of Singapore and Hong Kong. The actual population density is higher than its estimate due to the uninhabitable mountainous areas.

Since the end of the Korean War, rapid industrialisation brought on a massive population shift from rural to urban areas. Approximately 30 million rural dwellers have migrated to urban areas over the last four decades. As a result, the urban ratio increased from 35.8 per cent in 1960 to 88.5 per cent in 2002. The urban population has increased by approximately 800,000 a year. The increase in urban population has challenged the government to tackle a corresponding surge in the demand for housing and urban services.

A major characteristic of urbanisation has been the concentration of people and economic activities in the metropolitan region of Seoul. Population in the Seoul Metropolitan Area grew from 5.0 million (20.8%) in 1960 to 21 million (46.3%) in 2000. At the same time, the population of Seoul increased from 2.4 million (9.8%) to 9.9 million (21.4%). In the 1990's the population of the Seoul Metropolitan Area increased by 360,000 annually, whereas the city of Seoul has experienced a decline in population since the mid 1990's.

Lee Myung-bak, the Mayor of Seoul, has strongly criticised the government’s plan for a new South Korean capital. He told the press that relocating the capital would do great harm to the South Korean economy and undermine its competitiveness. However, the government countered his argument by pointing out that international companies increasingly favour the Chinese capital Beijing because Seoul had become too cramped and overcrowded.

So far the international business and diplomatic community has kept largely out of the argument. In addition, some observers point out that the whole project may become obsolete if North and South Korea re-united in the not so distant future. The seat of a united Korean government may even be the present North Korean capital of Pyongyang, which already served that role in the past.


Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak warns that a new South Korean capital city would undermine the country's economy


Urban design competition
The South Korean Presidential Committee will hold an international competition for conceptual design ideas for the physical structure of the country’s new administrative capital.

The objective of the competition is to look for creative urban conceptual design ideas for the new administrative capital. The Committee hopes that internationally distinguished urban designers, planners and architects will submit outstanding ideas to realize their dream of building the first model city of its kind in the new millennium. The competition will be open to non-professionals as well as professionals including urban designers, urban planners, and architects.

Provisional competition schedule:
September 2004: Announcement of the competition
October 2004: Registration
February /March 2005: Submissions and announcement of winners

Public building competition
The Presidential Committee is also considering an international competition for designs of the National Assembly Hall, major government offices, monuments, and emblem works. Details will be announced later.