[EDITORIALS]Planning makes perfect

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[EDITORIALS]Planning makes perfect

The government and Uri Party announced that big businesses will be allowed to construct new factories or expand existing ones in eight high-tech industries in the Seoul metropolitan area. They have also decided to ease regulations on land development within the green belt for housing and tourism purposes. The government also plans to ease regulations by designating the sites of public institutions that move to provinces and underdeveloped areas within Seoul as a “redevelopment area,” and reflect these measures when it revises the Seoul Metropolitan Area Readjustment Planning Act.
Although it came belatedly, we welcome the rationalization measures as they will open the way for businesses. Due to restrictions on land development within Seoul, big investment plans by large businesses have been delayed while foreign investors who looked for factory sites near Seoul had to turn to China or Southeast Asia. For our national economy, this has been quite regrettable. Also, despite excessive restrictions on green belt development, developers managed to find loopholes in the law, which resulted in ruthless and unplanned development in such areas. Now, we can expect a high level of development in Seoul. The competitiveness of our high-tech industries will be enhanced and environment-friendly tourism resorts will be created.
In order to enhance the competitiveness of Seoul and prevent unplanned development, a master plan for effective land use in the Seoul area should be first provided. For this purpose, the government plans to finalize the third Seoul metropolitan area redevelopment plan this year. However, previous redevelopment plans mainly consisted of imposing regulations. They failed to show how to develop Seoul. Now, we need a detailed plan that shows what industries will be encouraged in which area; what kinds of tourism resorts will be created at which areas; and which area should be strictly preserved.
In the case of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro became the most disorderly city with the highest crime rate in the world because vacancies created by the move of the capital to Brazilia were filled by settlers and development was carried out without a plan. As the government plans to build an administrative city and eases regulations in Seoul, it must do so in an intelligent, well-managed way to avoid following the Brazilian precedent. For Seoul to be a hub of Northeast Asia and enhance national competitiveness, it is essential to develop and preserve Seoul area under a well-prepared plan.
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