New Policy Discourses about the Seoul metropolis


Currently, Seoul is confronted with a crisis due to the accumulation of problems that arose with rapid development and growth since the 1960s. In order to understand this crisis, it is important to reflect on and understand the change and development history of Seoul. In this research, firstly the development process of Seoul in history is systemically analysed, with particular focuses on changes in main policies of the city over time. Secondly, based on this analysis, challenges that Seoul is currently facing and policy directions are drawn out.


The crisis inherited in Seoul stems from the modus operadi of Seoul, which is the ‘developmental city’, and this is structurized within Korea, a developmental state. The developmental city is based on the developmentalism paradigm where growth and development is the first priority in social management and public policies. This developmental city paradigm has been the core policy value, and this can be specified with four elements, including ‘growth-firstism’ and ‘development-centrism’. These elements of the developmental city have developed Seoul during the last 40 years and have accumulated various problems.


It can be summarized into six challenges that Seoul is currently facing. In order to address them, establishing a new model for urban development and fundamental transformation of policy directions based on the model are required. The new model is called ‘Inclusive City’ - a city based on the inclusive growth paradigm – model. This model recognizes social and economic inequality, regional disparities, conflicts and competitions between social classes, as well as growth and development, in order for sustainable development of a metropolis. In this research, five strategic directions are presented to establish the Seoul-style inclusive city model.



01 Introduction

1_Background and Purpose of the Study

2_Contents and Methods of the Study


02 Pre-discussions on ‘Seoul Metropolis’

1_Tranditional Perspectives on the Capitalist City

2_New perspectives on the Post-modern City

3_Summary and Policy Implication



03 The Past and Present of Seoul, a Developmental City

1_Korea, Developmental State and Seoul, Developmental City

2_Seoul, a Transplanted Developmental City

3_Seoul, a Self-directed Developmental City


04 Challenges of Seoul and Re-direction of Seoul-style Inclusive City

1_The challenges of Seoul, Developmental City in Urban Crisis

2_Towards the Seoul-style Inclusive City





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