The Governance of Land Use in Korea

Urban Regeneration

image of The Governance of Land Use in Korea

This report examines land-use trends, policies and practices in Korea, in particular in the city of Busan, through the lens of urban regeneration and citizen participation. Land-use planning is critical for the efficient and inclusive management of cities, pursuing sustainable and balanced development and improving quality of life and regional competitiveness. Korea has benefitted from comprehensive and well-structured, hierarchical land-use planning and urban regeneration frameworks. However, faced with a series of demographic and economic challenges, together with geographic factors and historical developments, Korea needs to re-evaluate land-use management and urban regeneration to leverage inclusive growth and boost competitiveness in Korean cities. This report argues that involving citizens in land-use planning and urban regeneration is essential to collect better quality information as a basis for plans, decisions and outcomes. This report is of relevant to urban planners, land use especialists, and city managers who work on urban regeneration projects and citizens’ participation.


Land-use governance in Korea

This chapter presents an overview of the state of land-use governance in Korea, looking first at the context of spatial planning. It stresses that the share of national urban land is small but the demand for urban land has decreased. It then discusses the main issues of governance of land use in Korea focusing in particular on the case of Busan, Korea’s second largest city. It highlights that land use in Busan is largely influenced by historical events and socio-economic changes such as ageing and shrinking population, and the city’s slow economic growth. The chapter argues that inter-departmental co-ordination for land-use seems to be strong and that the city has a comprehensive but complex land-use planning framework. It highlights the need to shift the land-use planning approach from urban expansion to urban regeneration, and to improve the sub-national fiscal system. Finally, the chapter explores some policy options to strengthen Korea’s land-use planning system.


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