Theses Master's

Aging Population and Slum Resettlement in Guryong Village, Seoul, South Korea

Sunwoo, Jacquelyne D.

The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate if the elderly population of Guryong Village is receiving adequate provision of services to mitigate their resettlement process. Located in Seoul, South Korea, Guryong Village is the last illegal shantytown in the city that has survived a tumultuous history of aggressive urbanization policies. Although the squatter community has been under development pressure ever since the turn of the 21st century, the Seoul Metropolitan Government finally made a public announcement of its proposal for redevelopment in 2011. The issue at hand, however, is not only the threat of displacement for current residents, but also that the majority of the Guryong population are senior citizens of low socioeconomic status. Recognizing that persons of older age require more proactive and committed policy interventions, this thesis highlights: first, if the elderly population of Guryong Village is receiving adequate provision of services, and second, if the government has communicated and provided additional services to facilitate their relocation process. Findings indicated that senior citizens of the shantytown were generally content with the current living conditions and services available to them. Moreover, majority of interview participants either did not want a redevelopment or were not aware of the project at all. Thus, this study recommends that the urban planners first, proactively inform elders regarding the redevelopment; second, establish settings for storytelling that encourage active participation; third, extend current services to the resettlement process; and fourth, consolidate stability post-development.
In the midst of two paramount demographic shifts happening on a global scale, namely rapid urbanization and growth of the ageing population, this research intends to inform future urban planners how to assess the changing circumstances and consequent needs of the elderly in an urban environment.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Beauregard, Robert
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
July 1, 2017