Cities for profit …

Cities for profit …


Written by:

Seon Young Lee

First Published:

26 Oct 2017, 12:00 am

Cities for profit …

Cities for profit: Profit-driven gentrification in Seoul, South Korea

A new paper by Seon Young Lee is now available online.



Urban redevelopment in Korea has worked effectively as new-build, high-rise gentrification, since it is directly connected with social upgrading as a result of the improvement of the physical environment. This research attempts to explain the role of place entrepreneurs, especially property owners, in urban redevelopment and unravel key factors and their relationship to such redevelopment. The formation and nature of pro-gentrification coalitions is explored through a case study conducted in Yongsan, Seoul. Urban redevelopment processes have been primarily governed by the exchange value interests of property owners. Absentee landlords comprise the majority of property owners who have played the role of speculative investors. Even though owner-occupiers know they cannot afford to return after urban redevelopment, they do not strongly oppose urban redevelopment as long as they can share in urban redevelopment profit. To sum up, property owners play an important role as developers in the Korean urban redevelopment system and they accelerate gentrification.


You can access and read the full article here.