Long term solution to solve parking issues in Korea

As we know that construction more highway is good for short term solution to reduce traffic, however, it is not good for long term strategy. It is also same for the parking space in downtown.

From 1960’s to 1980’s Korea dictated by military government, and most of the modern city frame was developed during that period, under the powerful dictator. Most of the nation’s economic and political functions started to grow in Seoul, a lot of people migrated to the city. Because of this reason, the population of the capital city of South Korea, Seoul, increased dramatically from 1960 to 1990. In 1960’s population was 2,445,000, however, 30 years later population increased to 10,726,000.

To solve this problem mayor Ku(9.2.1974 – 12.21.1978) planned to construct more parking spots in down town. However, the Chief urban planner Son refused to develop more parking place in downtown area. He said that the roads in the Seoul spread out like the spokes of a wheel, if the parking space increase in downtown, it will make serious parking problems within a year.

However, 1970’s Korea was under military government, the administration system was totally top down. It means that disobedience to authority was almost impossible. Because of that reason Chief urban planner Son resigned and moved to other position. Mayor Ku go forward developing more parking spaces in downtown, and few years later Chief Son’s prediction became realized. Because of more parking system, more people came into downtown with their car.

20 years later, city tried to set a new policy to solve this problem. In 1997 January, Seoul city government procure the passage of “Limitation of parking space policy”. This bill designates 10 parking restrict areas which include downtown. If one area designated as parking restrict space, this area can only build 50% of number of parking space which regulated by land use zones(only retail and office uses regulated).

This policy is successful to reduce traffic in downtown, except two unexpected side effects occurred. First, this parking limitation applied all the same in the parking restrict areas without no consideration about locational and uses characteristics. Second some of developers intentionally misuses this policy, so several legal issues arise.

There is no perfect solution to solve urban problems. Even though short term solutions are much easier to earn the support from citizens, however, policymakers need to have eyes to see the long term solutions.

Seoul population

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About asiawideweb

Junyong, Jamie, An MUP & MSRE Candidate | Class of 2015 College of Built Environments University of Washington mobile_US : (206) 249-3855 / S. Korea : (010) 9698-2022 email: asiawideweb@gmail.com / jya2@uw.edu

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