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Monday, July 26, 2021

Seoul: inhuman, all too human

"If Paris were a recurring hero in series of novels, Seoul would rather be a shape-shifting character, always mutating between two short stories. That could be the very definition of a city: a very real work of fiction always trying to liberate itself from its authors."


Published not long after Park Won-soon took office, my essay on Seoul urbanism is now available in English. You can download it for free on Academia.edu: "Seoul: inhuman, all too human"*.

Fun to see what changed and what didn't since then. I might consider a sequel, which would probably cover the successes, failures, and impostures of urban regeneration.

(photo: urban farming along Danghyeoncheon, before Nowon-gu revamped it).

*

SEOUL: INHUMAN, ALL TOO HUMAN

One megalopolis, a hundred villages, a thousand visages

1) The industry of dreams – the ideal city

. Industrial housing revolution: from the virtuous cycle to the bubble

. From mass market consumer goods to fashion and services, from utopia to
dystopia

2) Humans in transit

. Communities and shared spaces

. Life and survival of villages

3) Ideal city 2.0 and new utopias

. The end of an era, but not yet the end of the real estate dream

. From "hard city" to "soft city"

. From New Town to Human Town, villages are back in favor


Seoul Village 2021
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* for the original version (in French), see "Inhuman, all too human Seoul"

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