OECD Urban Policy Reviews, Korea 2012

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This Urban Policy Review of Korea  assesses Korea’s approach to sustainable urban development as expressed in its recent urban policy reform and national green growth agenda. The government has responded to the economic, environmental and social challenges that have resulted from Korea’s rapid urbanisation process with, on the one hand, urban policy reform based on qualitative urban management and urban competitiveness and, on the other hand, the adoption of a National Strategy for Green Growth that emphasises the role of cities in achieving stronger environmental and economic outcomes. The Review proposes a series of recommendations designed to advance Korea’s sustainable urban policy approach, which include (i) developing a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach to urban development that is tailored to the different needs of urban areas, (ii) closing the gaps between expected and actual outcomes in urban planning, (iii) maximising economic efficiency in the building and transportation sectors and (iv) improving policy co-ordination across public agencies.   



Trends and Challenges in Korea's Urban Structure

This chapter examines urbanisation trends and addresses the issues and main challenges facing urban areas in Korea. It considers different definitions of urban areas in Korea and applies a methodology to identify groups of urban areas based on their functionality, rather than on administrative boundaries. An analysis of economic performance trends in urban areas reveals the leading economic role of large cities and medium-sized cities. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the challenges facing Korean urban policy makers in the years ahead, including an ageing population and shrinking labour force, unprecedented resource consumption, environmental pressures and climate change.


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