As a sub-plan of the urban master plan and the living area plan, the urban management plan is an implementation plan that aims to materialize and realize the long-term urban development direction suggested in the upper level plans in the relevant spaces. The urban management plan includes the land use zoning plan, the urban planning facility project plan, the Plan for each District Unit, urban development project plan, various kinds of readjustment project, etc. Each project plan is established and operated individually. Seoul is seeking ways to strengthen the functions of the urban management plan to operate it efficiently by preparing the integrated implementation of the current urban management plan.
In order to improve the establishment and operation of the urban planning system while accommodating the characteristics and changes of Seoul, Seoul exerts continuous effort to prepare the concrete and detailed plans through professional monitoring and expanded citizens’ participation, and to establish a Seoul’s constant urban planning system.
Stage 1. Urban Master Plan
Purposes and Background of Planning
The urban master plan of Seoul was established for the first time in 1990 after it was established by law according to the amendment of the “Urban Planning Act” in 1981. Since then, legal planning was conducted 4 times, including the adjustments in 1997 (target year: 2000), 2006 (target year 2020) and 2014 (target year: 2030). The “2030 Seoul Plan” is the 4th legal plan formally established on the Seoul-level. As the plan takes the highest status in the planning system of Seoul, it furnishes a guide to the directions of the sub-plans like the urban management plan, etc. and provides consistent and unified establishment of them.
The 2030 Seoul Master Plan (Seoul Plan) was made by reorganizing the previous contents and formats according to the advent of time to readjust the Seoul urban master plan in 2020, transfer of the right to set the urban master plan to the local government and consequent expansion of the Seoul Mayor’s autonomy, and request for the realization of new social values such as civil participation and a sharing society.
Range of the Plan
Spatial Range: The spatial range for the plan is the entire urban planning area matching the Seoul administrative districts with a total area of 605.96㎢. However, the target areas are expanded to the Seoul metropolitan areas in the vicinity of Seoul when analyzing the status and conditions to draw the planning tasks and planning the spatial structure reorganization.
Status and Roles
1. The highest legal plan encompassing all areas of Seoul
- The urban master plan is the highest level of spatial plan that takes precedence over the divisional plans and policies of each sector related to the use of spatial structure and land. It is used as the basis for integrating and adjusting all the divisional plans and policies through the use of spatial structure and land. In addition, it acts as the guideline for establishment of the urban management plan as its sub-plan.
2. Long-term plan to present the future image after 20 years and development directions
The future vision and development direction of Seoul based on the basic status analysis of the main parts including population structure, social and economic conditions, change of land utilization according to climate change, industrial structure, changes of housing and built-up areas, etc. and in consideration of changes to internal and external situations, etc. in the long-term perspective.
In addition, the feasibility of the urban master plan shall be reviewed every five years in consideration of the changing in order to revise and compensate for changes.
- The urban master plan is meant to materialize and accomplish the plans regarding the core issues strategically set to achieve the future vision of Seoul in the space dimension. Therefore, it is a feature of the plan that it is materialized and realized in the shape of spatial planning for the urban spatial structure reflecting the future vision and plans regarding the core issues, suggestion of principles and directions of land use, and presentation of development directions, planning tasks by the living area.
- The plan aims to regulate the land use and efficient use of locations by integrating and adjusting the divisional policies and plans of each sector in the spatial dimension.
4. Strategic plan emphasizing the efficiency of resources by establishing policy priorities
- The demand for public policies increases continuously due to continued slow economy, growing requirement for the financial commitment, diversified demand of citizens, etc. In order to address the policy demand effectively, it is necessary to clarify the priorities of policies, to implement the policies strategically and to use limited resources efficiently.
- The urban master plan combines multiple administrative areas to realize the future vision and sets the main strategies to be implemented in priority through the process of consultation and agreement with the citizens and experts who participated.
Contents of the Plan
The plans regarding the core issues are intended to set the priorities of administration while combining the entire administrative fields of Seoul and securing the consistency of the plans. They are the theme plan for Seoul in which the specific theme-centric plans presented in the guidelines for the establishment of the urban master plan are reconstituted considering the characteristics of Seoul.
In addition, Seoul presented the regional conception of the living area plan while considering the regional characteristics in order to materialize the basic contents of the plan and to facilitate balanced development between regions. In order to accomplish the goals of the plans, the urban planning system of Seoul, constant monitoring system, establishment of civil participation and governance system and principles and directions of financial investment were included.
The existing single centered system consisting of ‘1 city center, 5 sub city centers and 11 regional centers’ in a simple hierarchy had limits in solving the issues raised at the upper levels. Through the 2030 Seoul Plan, Seoul reorganized the single centered system into ‘3 city centers, 7 metropolitan centers and 12 regional centers’ to emphasize the functional system of multiple centers and to facilitate the win-win development through cultivation of special content by the center and the functional links between the centers.
The single centered system was the basic element in forming the spatial structure of Seoul. The special structure was formed by designating the centers that the Seoul Metropolitan Government had to manage directly. In other words, Seoul decided to provide strategic management service to the city centers, metropolitan centers and regional centers that took core roles in the Seoul metropolitan areas and 5 regional living areas. The centers of the districts as the basis for daily life in each regional living area in the existing 2020 urban master plan were maintained, but they were allowed to be adjusted through consultations with the autonomous districts if necessary when establishing living area plan following the urban master plan. In other words, the designation and management of the district centers could be negotiated and adjusted in consideration of the demands of the autonomous districts and the residents.
- Seoul would have a 3 city center system in consideration of the development axes of Seoul to reflect the multi-centered spatial structure and to strengthen the global competitiveness of Seoul. Fortress Wall of Seoul (downtown inside the existing four gates) would be specialized as an International Cultural Center (ICC), Yeongdeungpo & Yeouido as an International Financial Center (IFC) and Gangnam as an International Business Center (IBC) and global functions would be assigned to each of them.
￮ Metropolitan Centers: Facilitation of regionally balanced development through fostering the functionally specialized centers
- The metropolitan centers would play the roles to support the global functions of the city centers to create the metropolitan employment basis specialized in the areas of business, commerce, culture, tourism, R&D and high-tech industry and to facilitate regionally balanced development through the strengthened self-sufficient functions. The metropolitan centers are designated according to the intensity of new growing industries, connectivity to the metropolitan railways, large scale of available development land and separate development plans in the central areas over regional center level. Based on these criteria, Seoul selected Changdong & Sanggye, Magok, Gasan & Daerim, and Jamsil in addition to the sub-centers of Yongsan, Cheongnyangni & Wangsipni, and Sangam & Susaek.
￮ Regional Centers: Preparation of employment basis by living area and strengthening of self-sufficiency
- The roles of regional centers are to strengthen self-sufficiency by living area and facilitate the improvement of living quality through the activation of commerce and business functions based on regional characteristics. Based on these criteria, Seoul selected 12 regional centers that would build up the regional employment basis, provide public services and take the roles as the centers of business and culture.
The ‘Committee to Promote Establishment of 2030 Seoul Plan’ drew up the urban master plan (draft), including plans regarding the core issues, plans for spatial structure and land use, regional designs and methods to realize the plans through survey, opinion collection of the districts and advisory conference by field. The draft was modified and supplemented in reflection of the opinions of the related divisions of Seoul City and the appropriate opinions of the citizens through the briefing sessions and public hearings in the districts. The urban master plan established by the citizens, experts and administrators together was finally confirmed after going through the legal administrative procedures like the deliberation of urban planning committee. The feasibility of the urban master plan has to be reviewed and adjusted every 5 years by the special city mayor, the metropolitan city mayor, the special autonomous municipal mayor, governor, or heads of counties, if any.
Stage 2. Living Area Plan
Purposes and Background to Establish the Plan
○ Intermediate level of plan to improve the realization of the urban master plan
- Seoul, with a population of 10 million people is not only the capital city of the Republic of Korea but also the center of a metropolitan economic bloc with population of 25 million. Like the other small and medium sized cities, Seoul was operated using a two-layer plan consisting of the urban master plan and the urban management plan until recently. But there were limits in connecting the long-term development directions presented in the urban master plan to the urban management plan to realize them in the case of a metropolitan city like Seoul. Therefore, the need emerged for the living area plan as an intermediate step to link the two plans to improve the effectiveness of the urban plans. Based on the scheme, dual planning is made for the 5 regions (large living areas) and sub-divided zones (small living areas).
○ Establishment of area plans based on the lives of many citizens.
- The city development and management in the past were led by the large scale of development and demolition such as the large scale of housing land development, reconstruction and new town projects. The areas outside of the plan suffered from continued decline and the small units of plans were no longer a priority. In other words, the existing urban plans of Seoul had limits in solving the problems of inconvenience felt by the citizens in their daily lives systematically. In order to address such problems, Seoul initiated the living area plan which was close to the citizens’ lives to set the regional vision and development directions together with the citizens and to implement various urban plans.
○ Bottom-up plan established by the participation of the residents living in the regions.
- Most of the urban plans of Seoul were made using the top-down system established and operated mainly by the officials and experts. The top-down plans have the advantage in managing all of Seoul synthetically and consistently, but have limits in reflecting the regional characteristics and diverse demands of the residents. The ‘living area plan’ was designed to switch the existing planning system to the bottom-up system like the 2030 Seoul Plan in which the citizens participated and to support the residents’ participation actively. With the plan, the procedural measures to seek the solutions for the improvement of regional pending issues and living conditions together with Seoul and local governments were prepared and the justification and the procedural rationality could be secured.
○ Plan as a mediator to integrate and coordinate the related plans by sector (bureau and division)
- Seoul established and operated the plans by sector (bureau and division) on housing, transportation, parks & green, landscape and industry in addition to the urban master plan. But the plans by sector (bureau and division) are at odds because they were established at different times. So, the living area plan plays an important role as a mediator to integrate and adjust the plans by sector (bureau and division).
Range of the Plan
Spatial Range: The spatial ranges of the living area divided depending on the urban scale, administrative economy, single centered system, main terrains, purposed and natures of activities and service zones by facility. In general, the large cities have 3 categories; small living areas, mid-sized living areas and large living areas. In the case of Seoul, the living areas are divided into the 2 categories of ‘regional area (large living area)’ and ‘zone (small living area).’ Currently, there are 5 regional areas (large living areas) and around 140 zones (small living area).
|<Figure 6> Division according to the 5 Regional Living Areas||<Figure 7> Northeast Regional Area|
<Table 1> Comparison between the Regional Living Areas and the Living Zones
|Classification||Regional Living Area||Living Zone|
|Concept||Regions including city center, sub-centers and the adjacent areas||Regions including district centers, main station influence area and the adjacent residential area|
|Criteria||Hangang (River) and Mountain area running from north to south||Considering topography, large constructions and population|
|Intention Point||Spatial structure towards job-housing proximity in the regions
Balanced development based on self-sufficiency
|Suggestion of regional development direction
Establishment of tasks to improve residents/zone contacted living environment
|Categories of Space||5 Regional Areas
(When necessary, they can be supplemented by mid-sized living areas)
|Around 140 Zones
(around 3 administrative sections with less than a population of 100,000)
Status and Roles
1. Established as a follow-up plan to the urban master plan
- The living area plan was established as a follow-up plan to the urban master plan to materialize the regional core issues and spatial structures presented in the 2030 Seoul urban master plan (Seoul Plan) on the level of 5 regional areas and 140 living zones.
- With the planning system consisting of the urban master plan, the living area plan and the urban management plan established, Seoul was equipped with the systematic planning framework containing the plans not only on the level of the metropolitan city but also the regional living zones for daily life.
2. Basis for the decision of urban plans, project implementation and budget execution
- The living area plan established to materialize the urban master plan integrates and adjusts the related plans made in the individual bureau or division of the Seoul Metropolitan Government in consideration of residents opinions. That would play a role as a platform to be the basis for the decision of the urban management plan, project implementation and execution of the relevant budgets.
Contents of the Plan
In the section of center & industry of the living area plan, the development directions of the centers taking the roles of main business and commerce and the main railway station areas, and development methods and directions of industrial resources to lead economic growth and to create jobs are produced and presented. In the section of dwelling areas, readjustment, preservation and management directions are proposed according to the dwelling types and features. In the section of transportation, the improvement directions of public transportation and transportation infrastructure are suggested on the regional or zone level. In the section of infrastructure for living, how to supply infrastructure for living and to improve its utilization are presented. In the section of regional specialization, how to develop and manage nature, history and culture to strengthen the local identity and features is proposed.
In particular, ‘citizen/resident participation group’ is organized in step 2. The group diagnoses the issues of the changes to living areas and problems, and facilitates the regional vision and spatial development plan. For the issues that can be solved in cooperation with neighboring districts, Seoul supports the task force team in each living area to perform collaboration and preparation for the necessary reaction plans. When necessary, district consultative groups in the region can be organized.
Finally, the living area plan has to go through the same administrative procedures for the urban master plan, the upper level one, to be confirmed. The regional area (large living area) plan is confirmed through an opinion hearing of the Seoul City Council and deliberation of the Seoul City Planning Committee. The zone (small living area) plan is confirmed through an opinion hearing of the District Councils, the deliberation of the District City Planning Committee and the approval of the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
Stage 3. Urban Management Plan
- Plans for designation or changes of the use region and use district.
- Plans for designation or changes to the limited development zones, urban nature park zones, controlled urbanization zones and fishery resource protection zones
- Plans for the installation, reorganization or improvement of infrastructure
- Plans for urban development or reorganization projects.
- Plans for designation or changes to the district unit planning areas and the plan in the district unit
The urban management plan established to materialize and realize the long-term urban development directions presented in the urban master plan in the specific spaces, is individually established according to the purposes of plans in these areas; plan for the use region, district & area, the urban planning facilities, Plan in District Unit, urban development project and reorganization plan.
Purposes and Background to Establish the Plan
The purposes of establishing the Seoul urban management plan are to lay the groundwork for the urban management plan of Seoul, to suggest the concrete methods to realize the established 2030 urban master plan of Seoul and to prepare for the management standard for the use districts by integrating the adjustment standards for the use districts that has been operated individually.
The urban management plan manages and regulates the land use and development of land directly for development, reorganization and preservation of the cities, carrying legal binding force.
Contents of the Plan
1. Plan for designation or change to the use region, district or area.
￮ “Use Area” means the area designated by the urban management plan to prevent the disordered expansion of urban streets, to facilitate the planned and systematic use of land, and to perform the comprehensive adjustment and management of the land use by strengthening or relaxing the limits on the use of land, building-to-land ratio, floor area ratio and height of the constructions in the use region or in the use district. The use area acts as a mean to control the development activities or land uses in general by applying various kinds of regulated projects unlike the use region or use district. It is divided into limited development area, urban nature park area, urbanization control area and fishery resources protection area. The limited development areas are designated by the urban management plan when it is necessary to limit urban development to prevent the disordered expansion of an urban area, to prevent the natural environment, to secure a sound living environment or to meet the requests of national security. In the limited development area, urban planning projects are prohibited except the activities or projects that obtained permission on a case by case basis. Since 1972, Seoul had designated 166.82㎢ as a limited development area, but lifted the restriction for 15.45㎢ for the purposes of the clustered settlement, national public housing and Bogeumjari (nest) housing.
2. Plan for Installation, Renewal or Improvement of Urban Planning Facilities
￮ According to Article 2 of the “National Land Planning and Utilization Act,” the infrastructural facilities are divided into 52 types within 7 classifications which the urban management plan designates as ‘urban planning facilities’ to maintain urban functions.
|Classification||No. of Facilities||Kinds|
|Transportation Facilities||10||Roads, parking lots, railways, tracks, harbors, canals, airports, inspection facilities for vehicles and construction machinery, driving academies for vehicles and construction machinery, automobile stops|
|Spatial Facilities||5||Plazas, parks, green areas, amusement parks, public open spaces|
|Distribution & Supply Facilities||9||Water supply facilities, electric power supply facilities, gas supply facilities, oil storage and supply facilities, broadcasting & communication facilities, heat supply facilities, pipe utility conduits, markets, distributing facilities|
|Public, Cultural and Physical Training Facilities||10||Schools, libraries, schoolyards, public offices, physical training facilities, cultural facilities, R&D facilities, social welfare facilities, youth training facilities, public vocational training facilities|
|Disaster Prevention Facilities||8||Rivers, reservoirs, storage dams, fire prevention equipment, wind protection facilities, flood protection facilities, embankment facilities, erosion control facilities|
|Sanitation Facilities||7||Cremation facilities, cemeteries, enshrined facilities, natural burial sites, funeral homes, slaughterhouses, general medical facilities|
|Environmental Basic Facilities||4||Sewers, water pollution prevention facilities, waste treatment facilities, junkyards|
3. Plan in District Unit
￮ The districts that Seoul designates as the area for plan in district unit are the areas for strategic development and planned renewals such as areas requiring public facility renewal, street environment renewal, premeditated management of use, building-to-land ratio, floor area ratio and height, local specialization and activation via attracting the cultural functions and venture industries, the areas of mixed land use area of residential and industry in the semi-industrial regions, concentrated areas of low-rise housings, areas requiring financial support for balanced local development, areas for the development of private capital stations.
4. Planning for the Urban Development Project
￮ The goals of the urban development project are to create a pleasant urban environment and to increase public welfare. It can be implemented only when it is decided and announced as an urban management plan according to the ‘National Land Planning and Utilization Act.’ The project shall be executed according to the ‘Urban Development Act.’
￮ In order to designate the section for urban development, the designator shall establish the plans for the development project in the relevant area. The name, location, area, designation purposes of the urban development section, project period, contractor, implementing method, population accommodation plan, land use plan, traffic processing plan, environmental preservation plan and financing plan shall be included in the development plan.
5. Plan for the Renewal Project
￮ The renewal project can be implemented only when it is decided and announced as an urban management plan according to the ‘National Land Planning and Utilization Act.’ The project shall be executed according to the ‘Urban and Residential Environment Renewal Act.’
￮ The renewal project refers to renewal of infrastructure and improvement or construction of buildings including houses in the renewal sections or town street sections (which are not the renewal sections but are designated by Presidential Decree).
￮ In order to have an area designated as a renewal section, the head of a local government shall establish the renewal plan, notify the residents of the plan in writing for over 30 days for public inspection and opinion collection and apply for designation as a renewal section to the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Name of the renewal project, renewal section and area, urban planning facilities, joint use facilities, main use/building-to-land ratio/floor area ratio/height of the buildings, environment preservation and disaster prevention plans, educational environment protection plan, tenant housing measures and scheduled period of the renewal project should be included in the renewal plan.
The urban planning system works in 3 stages; ‘urban master plan – living area plan– urban management plan’ as shown above. For better and more desirable operation of the urban planning system, however, the following improvements and complements are needed.
Substantiality of the Planning System
Establishment of Urban Plan Monitoring System
Civil Participation and Strengthened Communication System
Jae-seop Yang, Sang-il Kim, Jae-su Lee, Seon-woong Kim, et al., 2010, Direction of Establishment of Seoul Type of Urban Planning System for the Preemptive Urban Management, Seoul Development Institute
Korea Planners Association, 2009, Theory on Urban Planning, Boseonggak
The Seoul Metropolitan Government, 2014, Main Report on the “2030 Urban Master Plan of Seoul”, the Seoul Metropolitan Government
The Seoul Metropolitan Government, 2013, Establishment and Implementation of Living Area Plans of Seoul, the Seoul Metropolitan Government
The Seoul Metropolitan Government, 2012, Readjustment of Urban Management Plan of Seoul, the Seoul Metropolitan Government
The Seoul Metropolitan Government, 2010, Study on the Efficient Operating Methods of the Overlapped and Complexed Urban Planning Facilities, the Seoul Metropolitan Government
Seon-woong Kim, Jun-ho Gho and In-su Song, 2011, Reality Evaluation and Complementary Direction of Urban Management on the Limited Development Districts of Seoul, Seoul Development Institute
Hyeun-su Kim, 2014, “Issues and Tasks of Deregulation of the Limited Development Districts” in the Issue Report of the Seoul Institute, the Seoul Institute
Hui-ji Lim, et al., 2007, Urban Planning and Design of Seoul, the Seoul Institute