More than ever, the NW-SE axis forms the industrial backbone of South Korea. Since 2010, the regions of Yeongnam (Busan-Gyeongbuk-Gyeongnam-Ulsan-Daegu) and Hoeseo (Chungnam-Chungbuk-Daejeon-Sejong) have boomed much more spectacularly than Sudogwon (Seoul-Incheon-Gyeonggi):
|Korea's main industrial regions in 1980 and now - the purple dots mark sites added after 2010 (Yeongnam clearly ahead of Hoseo and Sudogwon)|
|Clear "verticals" for each region|
Zooming in, the regional hubs and their interfaces (simplified maps):
|Sudogwon (Seoul-Incheon-Gyeonggi) - Paju among the missing hubs|
|Chungcheong, where Samsung invests massively in displays for instance in displays|
|Yeongnam Daegyeong (North) - NB: I'm glad nothing is planned around Andong|
|Yeongnam Dongnam (South) - Busan the natural magnet|
|Honam - a less dense network|
|Gangwon - new infrastructures (e.g. railways) shall help this laggard of a region catch up. As long as they don't spoil Seoraksan..|
The Korea Industrial Complex Corporation promotes a global vision and consistency in a complex system where some major industrial parks are directly under the authority of the government, while many are attached to local authorities**. Launched in 1997 to replace a system of regional management corporations, the KICOX started the following year with the Paju publishing hub, and led the shift towards innovation clusters in 2004.
Naturally, only a few clusters may become international leaders, and there's always a rob Peter to pay Paul effect, not to mention environmental impacts. But as we speak, Korea's map keeps being redrawn.
And such clusterfucks as Saemangeum will probably keep popping up: in Korea like anywhere else, you'll never prevent all politicians from nurturing pharaonic pet projects.
Seoul Village 2014
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* "4곳뿐이던 산업단지가 30년만에 131곳 `진격의 충청`" (MK News 20140410)
** just like with the special zones (FEZ - Free Economic Zone / FIZ - Foreign Investment Zone / FTZ - Free Trade Zone...)