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Strengthening the Role and Capabilities for Autonomous Districts’ Urban Planning in the Decentralized Era

Jae-Seob Yang · Min-Chul Shin · Young-Kwoun Ban

The purpose of this study is to understand the management conditions of urban planning in the autonomous districts of Seoul in the era of low growth and decentralization, and to find suggestions regarding the direction of strengthening the urban planning capacabilities of autonomous districts.

For this purpose, the issues of decentralization in urban planning, management conditions and operational problems for autonomous districts of Seoul, as well as case studies of London and Tokyo were analyzsed, and the opinions of experts surveyed. The main findings and implications are as follows.

First, the authority of urban planning in autonomous districts of Seoul is considerably insufficient compared to the general cities. Seoul's urban planning is entirely the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s authority and the autonomous district can not exercise any urban planning authority autonomously.

Second, in order to reflect the changing urban planning conditions in the decentralization era, Seoul Metropolitan Government needs to be in charge of integrated urban management at the metropolitan level, and it is desirable for autonomous districts to carry out urban planning tasks related to their residents’ lives at the community level.

Third, it is necessary to establish a mid- to long-term roadmap and step-by-step to expand the authority for urban planning by autonomous districts of Seoul, in consideration of the characteristics of Seoul as a metropolitan city.

Fourth, in order to expand authority in urban planning for autonomous districts of Seoul, it is necessary to strengthen the expertise of urban planning through the establishment of an independent “Urban Planning Review Group” and to operate the urban master plan for autonomous districts.