This Seoul case study is being carried out as part of a
comparative study of eight large cities in developing countries
planned under the ILO project on urbanization.
The purpose of this research is to find out the
characteristics of Seoul City, and evaluate the policy measures
which have been adopted. The Korean experiences can provide
good lessons to other countries which face metropolitan
The first task is to review recent trends in Seoul from
various aspects. In Chapter Two, recent trends of population
growth and the composition thereof will be discussed. In
particular, the sources of population growth in Seoul and
migration trends will be analyzed in detail. In addition, the
growth and structural change of Seoul`s economy will be
explored. Finally, employment and income aspects will be
Next, the magnitude of current problems facing the city of
Seoul will be explored. First, the urban poverty issue will be
dealt with based on the survey by the Korea Development
Institute. Rapid urban expansion, due primarily to migration to
urban areas in the process of rapid industrialization, created the
problem of urban poverty. The incidence of absolute poverty in
Seoul has declined since 1960, but relative poverty is still a
major problem. Trends in urban poverty and the size of the
urban poor will be discussed. In addition, the patterns and
causes of urban poverty and the characteristics of the urban
poor will be explained. Second, urban unemployment problems.
as well as living conditions and basic urban services, will be
analyzed. The rapid expansion of Seoul`s population created
shortages of urban services, both physical and social.
Particularly, much attention will be placed on low income
peoples`s housing problems such as slums and squatters. Finally,
the problems of urban management and finance in the Seoul city
government will be analyzed.
Past and current policies of the Seoul city government will
be explained in Chapter Four. The government`s industrial and
population decentralization policies are the most important
policies, since rapid population growth has resulted in many
severe urban problems such as urban poverty, traffic congestion,
land speculation, housing shortages and overcrowding, pollution,
backlogs in infrastructure, and so on. Next, various programs for
the urban poor will be dealt with in detail. Among these
programs, job training and placement programs and special aid
for street vendors will be reviewed in detail.
The last chapter contains policy recommendations. Since
Seoul`s problems cannot be separated from the broader context
of national spatial development, we emphasize the improvement
of rural living environments in addition to Seoul`s own
conditions. As for policies to improve the living environment of
Seoul, an active role by the Seoul metropolitan government is
stressed, since local autonomy will be established in near future.
In addition, anti-pollution policies will be thoroughly examined.
For the urban poor, expanding employment opportunities and
training program is most important instead of mere relief
programs. However, welfare services must also be improved