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[Resources] "City Regeneration and Sharing: Society in Need of Communities Again - 1"

City regeneration is one of the most important topics in our society these days.

City regeneration projects have been proposed and implemented as a way to overcome the limitations and side effects of the nation's major urban development policy until now, New Town, or redevelopment projects, or all-out urban development and promote sustainable growth and development of underdeveloped cities.

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<Source of Photography: Homepage Seoul 7017> 

Also, urban regeneration is a move to overcome the limitations of growth-orientedism. It can be judged that we are improving space and leading to social flow in a way to maintain the quality of life and maintain the sustainability of life even in a period of low growth where we have to adapt anew. In the end, urban regeneration is not a new concept that has sprung up suddenly, but rather a choice for us to end the era of high growth and to maintain a sustainable life.

A few conditions are necessary for the success of our chosen urban regeneration project. Although there are subtle differences depending on the perspective of the experts concerned, there are quantified goals of improving the living environment, creating jobs and other local economies. But this is not much different from the usual urban development goals. What makes urban regeneration different from other urban development policies?

In addition to the aforementioned quantified goals, urban regeneration is included in the essential conditions as well as the difficult quantifiable goals of community recovery and community active participation. In other words, besides the changes that appear in quantified figures, there are also big goals of urban regeneration in improving the recovery of human relations and the inner vitality of human beings.

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<Picture Source: Center for the Support of the Ddabogi Communities> 

Many people wonder if they explain about human relations and the community along with the urban regeneration project. Most people think that we still value the community and live in a variety of communities. That's why community recovery is not necessary. Rather, they say that the influence of a community or group is so great that a culture of respect for individuals should be established.

However, the community we generally think of, the traditional community based on the region (the traditional community we think of generally has the nature of the village-level agricultural community), has been thoroughly destroyed. In particular, in order for urban regeneration to succeed in a certain area, local communities where residents in the area actively participate and operate. However, there are few communities where residents build and act on their own, apart from institutional regional communities through specific organizations and administrative organizations.

So why has the traditional community that we can easily think of in our heads been destroyed and gone? This was not caused by one or two factors, but by a change in the overall economy and society.

Our traditional culture has long been created by farming in an area. But with the start of industrialization, a great change has taken place in the base on which traditional culture was created and supported.

First of all, with the phenomenon of "immigration nostalgia" occurring nationwide, people flocked to cities and the residential environment has changed greatly. The revolutionary changes in the residential environment have weakened the sustainability that traditional cultures had, which has led to the reduction of the need for traditional communities. While trying to maintain the relationship that was in the rural areas for quite some time, as the life of the city continued, the existing relationship weakened and gradually became famous.

Voluntary movements for education were also an important pillar of community destruction, and are a frequent phenomenon. Belonging to specific school districts, specific training space can be a lot of parents is the time after living and in certain areas for their children's adolescence, other again.Leaves for the region. This process was not merely a matter of personal or family unit residence movement, but rather a result of breaking the permanence of communities created by the settlement of an area. A similar phenomenon is expressed in the recent "Sky Castle," which has brought about a huge issue in society.

Full-scale urban development is also a very important cause of community destruction. When redevelopment is carried out through a full-scale evacuation, it is common for everyone to recognize that the return rate of existing residents to newly developed residential complexes is very low. Recently, redevelopment complexes in Jongno-gu have made various efforts to revive existing residents, but the actual return rate is less than 30 percent. If this happens, the existing community will not continue and will inevitably be destroyed. In addition, conflicts between the existing community and residents often result in social problems.

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<Inadequate Cases of Front-Related Urban Development : Yongsan Redevelopment, Photo Source: Kunghyang Newspaper> 

The problem of Gentrification is also having a huge negative impact on the community. We often talk about the problem of gentrification in commercial activities, but it is happening in places where the indigenous people who lived in the underdeveloped areas could not survive the rising rent, or where their homes were turned into commercial use and were forced out.
The community that was created by residents living there has disappeared due to the phenomenon of gentrification.

Unstable housing conditions are also a factor preventing community development. If you live in the form of a lease, rent, etc., you will have to leave your residence at the end of a few years, so you do not have to be part of the community and create a community. After all, they cannot help but feel that there is less to be gained through the community and the responsibility to do for the community is greater, and that they do not contribute to the creation and development of the community.

This shows that our lives are more closely connected to the nomadic culture that we must leave at any time, rather than the traditional culture created by Jeongju. But traditional nomads think anyone can be put in danger in a harsh nature at any time. That is why we are giving everyone social and cultural responsibility to actively protect others in need. Through this social consensus, nomads have the concept of a community where everyone shares their land and relies on each other. In the end, it comes to the conclusion that the diversity, vitality and consciousness of the community in our society are not as good as those of nomads as we think.

Now, the growth-oriented, high-growth society that has supported us through rapid industrialization and urbanization has reached its limit and is demanding another alternative. In a traditional high-growth society, individuals could develop their lives without a community. But now, our situation is turning into a low-growth society, and it is becoming difficult for us to take responsibility for everything and maintain our lives through the power. To address this difficulty, urban regeneration is being implemented and the need for community is growing again. However, we cannot reproduce the traditional Korean community that can only be found in feedstuffs. This is because the physical, economic, and social spaces of life have changed.

We should understand the meaning and properties of the community and not clone the existing traditional community and build a new community that fits the modern society by using it.

- reporter Lee Hwa-jin of Jongno District newspaper