Let the old be reborn, Seoul says of aged buildings
Instead of preserving old neighborhoods in Seoul, the city government announced Thursday it will look into redeveloping them altogether to provide more housing.
“Urban regeneration projects have helped revitalize declining areas in the city and boost the local economy, but there was a clear limitation to the projects, in that they didn’t lead to adequate additions of new housing units,” the Seoul Metropolitan Government said in its statement.
In redeveloping old areas in the city, the former city administration under Park Won-soon focused more on preserving the structures and buildings of old areas, instead of bulldozing them and rebuilding from scratch. The Park administration called these projects “regeneration” projects.
“In our recent survey of 2,000 Seoulites, we found out that 73.6 percent of them wanted a mix of regeneration and redevelopment, while 26.4 percent wanted only regeneration,” the city government said in its statement. “It is our intention to increase the mix of regeneration and redevelopment projects in the city in the coming years to provide more housing units.”
Mayor Oh Se-hoon, who was elected in the April mayoral by-election, has pledged to provide 240,000 new housing units in the city to stabilize the real estate market through 2025.
Since 2015, there has been no additional designation of old areas in the city for complete redevelopment. Park headed Seoul from 2011 to 2020.
This will change, according to the city government, partly by designating more areas for complete redevelopment, and partly by increasing the mix of regeneration and redevelopment projects in the city.
Some new incentives will be provided to land owners in old neighborhoods who decide to piece their lands together and build a larger new housing in the area to accommodate more people. The housing ought to be built on land sized at least 500 square meters (5,380 square feet), the city government said, which is the minimum area required for a building to be able to include an underground parking lot.
The city government said it will also provide incentives for private companies to join redevelopment projects throughout the city.
BY ESTHER CHUNG [firstname.lastname@example.org]