Legitimation of urban policy and policy mobility: A case of Seoullo 7017 regeneration project

Authors: Hyunmin Zoh*, Seoul National University
Topics: Political Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Urban Geography
Keywords: policy mobility, policy legitimacy, urban politics, Seoullo 7017
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 23
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This study analyzes the development process of Seoullo 7017 regeneration project through the theoretical lens of policy mobility. Researches on policy mobility have critically investigated the processes of adaptation, assemblage, and mutation of a certain policy, but have little focused on how the ordinary urban policymaking system has changed in the process of policy transfer. In this regard, this study focuses on exploring how the mobilization of certain policy has changed and reconstructed urban policy structure and urban area. The results are as follows. First, the mobilization, benchmarking, and policy promotion, that appeared in Seoullo 7017 were strategically used by the city government. The main purpose of these mobilizations was to legitimize the urban policy. Seoullo 7017, which was a mayor’s landmark project, has proceeded rapidly without the civic consensus process. Accordingly, the New York High Line’s success was used as a tool to show the legitimacy of Seoullo 7017 project. Second, the mobilization and adaptation of the High Line proceeded selectively in accordance with the political goals of the Seoul city government. Seoullo 7017 benchmarked both the design and governance of the High Line. The design was similarly imitated into Seoullo 7017 because of the symbolic image of the High Line’s successful design. Similarly, the management style which emphasized citizen participation was also imitated, but it ends in an instrumental form due to the bureaucratic political structure. As such, adaptation, mobilization, and mutation have been carried out following the process of legitimizing local policy and political authority.

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