Seoul delists 18 sectors in ‘new town’ development

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Seoul delists 18 sectors in ‘new town’ development

The Seoul Metropolitan Government began its re-evaluation processes to decide the fate of 265 regions in Seoul that are designated as the city’s “new town” redevelopment project, a large scale project to redevelop old residential areas which began in 2002.

The city government decided to remove 18 sectors from the project, including the Dongdaemun 1 and 2 sectors in Dongdaemun District in central Seoul, Eunpyeong 7 sector in Eunpyeong District, and Hongje 4 sector in Seodaemun District, both in northern Seoul, as more than 30 percent of the residents or landlords are opposed to the new town project.

City officials said they will discuss details with residents about the necessary process to withdraw the project in the coming months, expecting to notify them if they are removed from the list by the second half of the year.

The large-scale reconstruction project will be replaced with smaller-scale residential environment improvement projects, including remodeling old structures.

In January, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon declared that the city will re-evaluate the project through a series of feasibility studies over the designated areas’ business potential and capital requirements. Park said that the studies will be conducted in two different ways, based on whether an area has formed a committee to represent each region’s landlords and residents. Currently, a total of 610 sectors are designated for the project.

Studies will be conducted of the 265 regions that do not have a committee on two separate occasions. The city will conduct studies on 163 sectors with severe conflicts between residents in June and will start studying the remaining 102 in October.

“We expect the information that will be gathered from the studies to provide clear information on each sector’s business potential so it can resolve the conflicts that have occurred among residents,” Lee Geon-ki, the director of the city’s housing policy department, said during a press briefing held yesterday at City Hall.

The studies will be led by district officials in each region in conjunction with civic experts and civil servants and will provide estimated payments that each household will have to pay to participate in a new town project.

There will also be a series of briefing sessions with residents to introduce the purpose of the study in order to facilitate cooperation between landlords and residents.

By Kwon Sang-soo [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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