Perspectives on Decentralisation and Rural-Urban Linkages in Korea

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The economic development of Korea is widely considered as a success story. Yet, as the country joins the ranks of the world’s most advanced economies, its rapid pace of development has not fully reached every part of its territory. The pace of urbanisation, particularly around Seoul, has placed mounting pressure on the capital’s quality of life, while in rural regions the country’s success has felt distant. To address these regional disparities, successive governments have pursued a policy of balanced national development, with major initiatives aimed at spreading economic opportunities throughout the country while at the same time transferring authority and resources to regional and local governments, to increasingly empower them to navigate their own path forward. This study takes stock of these efforts in the context of rural development and finds evidence of progress in several areas, yet opportunities remain in others. The study includes advice and recommendations on multi-level governance, rural-urban linkages and other issues drawn from the experience of OECD countries on how Korea’s efforts in pursuit of inclusive growth may be further strengthened to improve the well-being of the country's rural regions.


Rural-urban linkages and innovation cities

This chapter starts by summarising the OECD framework on rural-urban linkages followed by a description of Korea’s innovation cities. It then draws on four examples of linkage development pertinent to the objectives and continued growth of the innovation cities from OECD countries. These examples include: Nuremberg, Germany; Brest-Pays Centre-Ouest Bretagne, France; Southern Ontario, Canada; and finally Scotland from the United Kingdom.


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