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Sociological review, Vol.41 No.3 December 2011.

Original scientific paper

Selling Global Seoul: Competitive Urban Policy and Symbolic Reconstruction of Cities

Blaž Križnik ; University of Seoul, Department of Architecture, South Korea

Fulltext: english, pdf (650 KB) pages 291-313 downloads: 1.664* cite
Križnik, B. (2011). Selling Global Seoul: Competitive Urban Policy and Symbolic Reconstruction of Cities. Revija za sociologiju, 41(3). doi:10.5613/rzs.41.3.2

The paper focuses on a process of symbolic reconstruction of cities, where the existing image or meaning of places is purposely changed with the aim of attracting new investments, events or tourists to a particular city. The process of symbolic reconstruction is situated within the context of growing competition among cities. Symbolic reconstruction also affects tourism development in cities by providing an easily marketed and consumable image and meaning of places. The case of the Cheonggyecheon restoration in Seoul helps in understanding how symbolic reconstruction of cities is related to and affected by competitive urban policy, urban renewal and city marketing. Observing local consequences one can conclude that while the Cheonggyecheon restoration and resulting symbolic reconstruction of the city helped Cheonggyecheon to become the major tourist attraction and icon of global Seoul, it also resulted in a decline in local places and cultures. Such outcomes of urban renewal contradict strategic goals of urban policy and may prevail in the end over the benefits, which the Cheonggyecheon restoration brings to tourism development and everyday life in Seoul.

Cheonggyecheon; city marketing; Seoul; symbolic reconstruction; urban renewal; urban policy; tourism development

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