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Major Issues and Tasks of Urban Planning Facilities according to the Change of Conditions in Seoul

Da-Mi MaengㆍJoo-Il LeeㆍCe-Na Baik

As of December 2017, 37 out of the 52 urban planning facilities in Seoul were designated as 62,897, covering an area of 370.64㎢. Facilities for performing urban functions such as roads, water supply, heat and gas supply facilities, and sewage systems have been massively provided during the high-growth period. In addition to supporting the basic needs of residents, facilities related to improving convenience and quality of life and safety, have been on a steady increasing over the last decade. A majority of urban planning facilities in Seoul are located near subway stations where residents can easily access them. When these facilities become deteriorated and un-used, it is beneficial to utilize the facilities to provide additional uses and functions.

Changes in the supply and management of urban planning facilities in Seoul are expected due to various conditions such as population and household structure, lifestyle, urban growth stage, residents’ demand, decentralization of local government, and scarcity in public finance and available land. Therefore, there will be a need to increase or reduce the provision of these facilities. The other issue, related to the provision of urban planning facilities, will be the limitation of provision and management of numerous facilities in the future. As the demand and supply compliant facilities increase, the role of the municipality in managing and operating the urban planning facilities becomes even more critical.
In regards to the changing conditions, three issues need to be addressed in order to provide and manage urban planning facilities in Seoul: related standards and laws, supply, and management methods. First, there should be improved systems and standards for establishing urban planning facilities in order to reflect the changes in local conditions and characteristics. Urban planning facility standards should be revised fully to conform to the current and future urban growth stage. The system should be structured as a system that comprises the type and scope of facilities, the decision criteria, the structure and installation standards as well as the adjustment to the existing facility and modification standards. To improve the quality of public services, the quality standards for the facility criteria need to be established. The method used to define the facility type should be changed for the flexibility in application of urban planning facility system and rules in accordance to the local conditions. Where there is insufficient developable land within Seoul, it is importance to prepare standards so that the facility can be maintained or reused as an urban planning facility in future.

Second, it is necessary to diversify the supply and operation methods of urban planning facilities through the private sector's participation. It is necessary to improve the system that restricts the private sector when providing mixed-used urban planning facilities. As the private sector supplies urban planning facilities, it needs to provide administrative support to secure the business feasibility. Additionally, there is a need to identify some urban planning facilities and establish the policy foundation to facilitate the increase in quality of public services and reduce public finances by utilizing the expertise of the private sector.

Third, the urban planning management system for facility in Seoul should be established for efficient and effective use of the facilities. To efficiently supply, use and manage the urban planning facilities, the government should first conduct a survey on urban planning facilities in Seoul and subsequently build a basic database. The Seoul Metropolitan Government needs to prepare a vision for the future and strategic plans for readjustment and utilization of urban planning facilities. In order to efficiently manage and operate urban planning facilities, clear division of operations and management between Seoul and the autonomous districts (Gu offices) is required. The Seoul Metropolitan Facility Planning Department should be the main body that presents and leads the strategic use and vision of the city's overall urban planning facilities. On the other hand. the Gu offices needs to implement decisions on urban planning facilities and management and ensure that they continuously monitors them.