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Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 33; doi:10.3390/su8010033

Urban Sustainability Versus Green-Washing—Fallacy and Reality of Urban Regeneration in Downtown Seoul

1
Department of Architecture, SungKyunKwan University, 2066 Seobu-ro Jangan-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 440-746, Korea
2
Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI), Urban Studies Unit, L’Aquila 67100, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 24 November 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 30 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3196 KB, uploaded 30 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

This paper examines the planning paradigm shift related to the contested “urban renaissance” mega-project in Downtown Seoul (Korea). Similar to other global cities, over the last few decades, different mega-projects have been successfully implemented in Seoul. These projects have been considered engines for urban renewals and transformation. This paper builds on the analysis of the failure and re-framing planning strategy for the Green Corridor (GC) mega-project, part of the “Urban Renaissance Master Plan for Downtown Seoul”. The GC case reveals various critical insights for urban sustainability: (i) the current mega-projects’ sustainability fallacy, related to top-down, technocratic densification, and greening practices; and (ii) the untapped potential of Asian traditional and irregular small scale urban patterns, and their related socio-cultural value in addressing the renaissance of the long term urban sustainability. In particular, the discussed research findings point out that urban renaissance enabling sustainability principles requires integrated, small scale, incremental, and adaptive (stepwise) urban planning and design processes that go well beyond general strategies following the so-called “green growth” paradigm. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban regeneration; sustainability fallacy; gentrification; industrial district conservation; Seoul; Seun district urban regeneration; sustainability fallacy; gentrification; industrial district conservation; Seoul; Seun district
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Schuetze, T.; Chelleri, L. Urban Sustainability Versus Green-Washing—Fallacy and Reality of Urban Regeneration in Downtown Seoul. Sustainability 2016, 8, 33.

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