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[News] A New Paradigm for Low-Generation Urban Policy - Sharing Cities

The nation's economic growth rate, which stood at 8-9 percent until the 1990s after the IMF crisis and the 2008 financial crisis, fell below 3 percent, and entered an era of so-called "low growth," which is forecast to fall to the 1 percent level after 2020. In addition, as the low birth rate and aging rapidly progressed, the productive population has already started to decline as of 2016, and in 2017, the ratio of people aged 65 or older has already accounted for 14.2 percent, making it an "aged society." By 2025, the proportion of people aged 65 or older will become a super-aged society with more than 20 percent of the total population. Decreased population and changes in population composition caused by low birth rate and aging population eventually degrades the growth engine of the national economy and leads to diversification of local public service demand, leading to increased administrative costs for local governments. Demographic reduction not only reduces the social and economic vitality of the region, but also leads to poor access to living infrastructure and aging of infrastructure, which ultimately results in worsening the quality of life. The slowdown in consumption and the decrease in purchasing power caused by low growth will cause various development projects and a slump in the real estate market, and cause major changes in market demand and urban space such as social and spatial polarization and land use. The spatial gap will further deepen as the polarization of income disparity between classes will intensify, and the elderly and low-income households with low housing mobility and migrant foreign households will become entrenched in certain areas.

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Local finances will continue to deteriorate because fiscal income will decrease due to the population outflow caused by urban decline and a decrease in the production population caused by aging, while the cost of urban management and social costs due to decline will continue to increase. As long as we view the new reality of low growth as an "opportunity" rather than a "crisis" in the city, we should seek the direction of urban policy and countermeasures accordingly. The Seoul Metropolitan Government proposed the following paradigm for 'the direction of urban space policy in the era of low growth'.

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First, the 'compression city' seeks ways to enhance the quality level of the space and to enhance the efficiency of social and economic activities through the intensive use of the public service, to prevent the urban sprawl and the mass supply expansion, and to improve the quality of the existing towns. Second, we need to identify urban issues from the perspective of citizens who are the consumers and move on to a "live city" focused on the functions that support the everyday lives of urbanites. Third, the government should prioritize consideration for the socially disadvantaged, such as tenants and low-income earners, and move toward an "inclusive city" that overcomes discrimination and exclusion against the socially weak, such as seeking common interests by preventing privatization of development profits. Fourth, we should emphasize the role of the community for social integration, and devise a people-centered "sharing city" that shares resources through social links away from economic value If urban policies in the high growth period were focused on efficiency, business feasibility, productivity, and quantitative supply expansion, during the low growth period, equity, social consideration, sustainability, and quality of life are important policy objectives, and new paradigm shifts such as compressed cities, living cities, engagement cities and shared cities are needed for the existing urban policies of the high growth period to make a soft landing in line with the low growth period. Therefore, it is necessary to minimize all-out iron-fisted redevelopment through 'selection and concentration' and to be careful in zoning, such as allowing redevelopment projects only in areas that require readjustment of infrastructure and buildings throughout the zone but are not highly business-like. It also focuses on the role of the public in developing objective criteria for determining the priority of public burden in financial support as well as the need to support infrastructure installation costs or make the cost of purchasing rental homes real.

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Comprehensive maintenance and renewal measures for various aging urban infrastructures will also be needed, and a response system will be needed to comprehensively manage and maintain old houses, communities and infrastructure. In the low-growth period, social integration policies should be prioritized to support socially discriminating underdogs and to secure a social safety net for low-income families. Economic inequality is closely linked to social exclusion of vulnerable people, including low-income, disabled, tenants and foreign workers, and low growth, especially in Korean society where social safety nets are not fully equipped, will result in social and spatial polarization and gaps. Therefore, it is necessary to have a "inclusive space policy" in which all people, including the socially disadvantaged, are given fair opportunities and the benefits of growth are evenly distributed.