|Title||Intermediary-led Participation in Regeneration: Governing and Networking Communities in Post- Developmental Urbanism - A Study of Seoul|
This thesis investigates the dynamics of community participation led by intermediary organisations in the urban regeneration of South Korea. Since the 2010s, the Korean government has tried to institutionalise community participation in its planning system by devising new partnerships between the state, citizens, and intermediary organisations. Intermediary organisations act as brokers to promote community participation throughout the regeneration process. Such intermediary intervention is a distinctive part of the recent planning system, which forms the basis for alternative approaches to past state-led or market-driven urban development in Korea. Despite its importance, the dynamics behind intermediary intervention have rarely been addressed. In particular, little attention has been paid to power relationships and social networks that are constructed through intermediary intervention, which can provide an additional insight into the fundamental nature of community participation in Korea’s planning system. Using research data collected mainly from fieldwork in Korea, this study explores the dynamics of community participation, with a focus on the governance arrangements and network structures that have evolved through intermediary intervention.
This thesis argues that intermediary intervention remains largely under state control, which restricts the financial resources and legal rights of intermediaries. While intermediary intervention has been managed by professional firms, its transformative potential for community empowerment has been undermined due to new rules and norms armed with expertise and professionalism, which were preferred by the state. On the other hand, more autonomous intermediary intervention has contributed to community empowerment but gained less institutional support, and this has enabled the state to maintain control over community participation, albeit in indirect ways. This thesis concludes that new challenges facing community participation emerging from intermediary intervention can be understood as a developmental legacy of the interventionist state in the post-developmental context in Korea. At the same time, it highlights that intermediary intervention can serve as a long-term platform to address such new challenges by constantly attempting to communicate with the citizens and negotiate with the state throughout the regeneration process. Investigating the dynamics of community participation also provides an opportunity to expand the empirical basis for a wider discourse on post-developmental urbanism in Korea and East Asia.
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