Coping with Crisis in Developmental Urbanization: The Case of Songdo City, South Korea
FULL organizes the lecture “Coping with Crisis in Developmental Urbanization: The Case of Songdo City, South Korea” of prof. Hyun Bang Shin, geographer at London School of Economics.
The lecture is co-hosted by the doctoral programmes in Urban Regional Development and Architecture, History, and Project, in collaboration with China Room.
This lecture aims to examine the underlying political economy of mega-project promotion in times of post-crisis recovery, looking at the case study of Songdo International City in Incheon, South Korea. This mega-scale urban development project, built on a 5,345-hectare reclaimed land, is widely known as the first foreign-led urban development project in South Korea. However, Songdo needs to be understood as space where various domestic and foreign actors have interplayed to pursue their material goals at different stages of development. In particular, two economic crises, which affected Korea in 1997 and 2008, were acting as significant drivers of development, producing shifting relations between different actors. By investigating the consequences of two crises upon Songdo, this chapter will show (1) how the variegated nature of urbanisation and associated stakeholders have engaged in an urban mega-project, (2) how their dynamics have shifted, and how speculative interests of different scales have become dominant in the development process of Songdo International City.