Culture-Led Urban Regeneration in South Korea

by Milyung Son (The University of Sheffield)

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The book "Culture-Led Urban Regeneration in South Korea" has successfully captured scholastic insights into art and culture of South Korea concerning regeneration policy, a subject that is rare in the literature, especially in the non-European countries. This book explores the history of urban regeneration initiatives in South Korea while linking it to social regeneration issues such as deprivations, interventions, community development, adaptation and enhancement. It has also attempted to link the experience of South Korea with global views on the same subject. This book, which is comprehensively written in a simple language and interposed with annotated graphical illustrations, would serve readers of all age categories, planners, and researchers in the fields of History, Urban Studies, and the wider research community. The aims of the research captured as well as the theoretical development of a year-long culture of South Korea and event and culture-led urban regeneration has been captured in a manner that no study of this kind may have attempted.
Overall, it is a great piece of work and constitutes an invaluable companion for every reader within diverse field of academic research.

Dr. Uyi Ezeanah
Department of Town and Regional Planning, University of Sheffield

There is a continuing academic and policy interest in the potential for culture-based urban regeneration across the world. Such regeneration is intended to attract investment, re-imagine spaces and create employment, business and urban planning opportunities. This book seeks to examine the use of culture and arts in the urban regeneration sphere of South Korea. Specifically, a one-year-long cultural event (Culture City of East Asia) is used as a case study for exploring wider debates around and understandings of the relationships between culture-led urban regeneration initiatives and the impacts on communities in South Korea.

Despite the proliferation of culture-led initiatives aiming to tackle broad social issues, there is a lack of in-depth research into the efficacy of such urban regeneration. Previous researches have asked such questions as: What benefits can cultural elements (e.g. mega-events or signature buildings) bring into a city? What is the role of culture in economic development (e.g. tourism and internal investment)? What is the economic value of cultural goods and services?

This is not to say that such questions should be the only concerns in assessing a culture-led urban regeneration strategy. However, the evaluation process of culture-led regeneration frequently fails to ask questions about the impact on human communities: Are cultural resources being used to spread culture, or just to focus on economic development? Are cultural initiatives like mega-events being used to benefit local citizens? How can residents shape a culture-led regeneration strategy? This book is intent on examining residents’ opinions and perspectives about culture-led urban regeneration. It recognizes how culture-led regeneration schemes interact with local communities, focusing on the actual views of local people rather than being coldly theoretical.

List of Figures and Tables

Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 What is Culture-led Urban Regeneration?
Chapter 3 Urban Regeneration History and Scheme in South Korea: Exploring the Context and Practice Applied in Urban Regeneration Initiatives
Chapter 4 Arts and Culture and Urban Regeneration in South Korea
Chapter 5 Understanding of Research Target Areas and Cultural Event (Cultural City of East Asia 2015)
Chapter 6 The Impacts of Culture and Arts on Social Regeneration: Community Development and Living Circumstance
Chapter 7 Lessons from the Culture-led Urban Regeneration Project: Through the CCEA

Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3
Appendix 4

Milyung studied a Bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts and worked as a performer in several musicals and music events in South Korea in her early twenties. In order to study the arts deeply, she decided to study a Master’s in Arts Management in England, developing her knowledge of culture and art. She came to realize that culture and the arts can effectively improve communities and cities. Thus she began research into culture-led urban regeneration strategies, and she pursued this topic at PhD level. She also worked as a planner at a social enterprise which mainly works for deprived communities in Seoul, South Korea.

Urban regeneration, Culture-led urban regeneration, The use of culture and arts, Event-led regeneration, Community development, Personal development, Actual resident opinions, Qualitative approach

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Culture-Led Urban Regeneration in South Korea





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


20 B&W

Publication date

January 2021