Theses Master's

From Brand Village to Living Heritage: Tong-il-chon in the Area of Korean Demilitarized Zone

Kim, Sohyun

This thesis argues that Tong-il-chon should be revalorized into living heritage than a typical brand village, by providing in-depth analyses to evidence Tong-il-chon’s historical status of significance. It also offers suggestions for an integrity-conscious preservation approach that would help Tong- il-chon turn into compelling heritage with a clear historical identity of the inter-border area of Korean Peninsula. Tong-il-chon, a strategic civilian village built in the area of Korean Demilitarized Zone by the South Korean government in 1973, stands as an important evidence of the long history of the two Koreas’ discourses and diplomatic relations around unification. However, recent initiatives taken into Tong-il-chon and its surroundings – for example, the Tong- il-chon Brand Village Development Project that overlooked preservation of the village’s physical setting and the Camp Greaves History Theme Park Project that is considering a direct connection to the village – raise a question about conflicts with the deserving value and status of Tong-il-chon. In response to this question, this thesis will begin with a two-pronged analysis to establish Tong- il-chon’s values: first, a design analysis based on architectural documentation of the village to assess the character-defining features of Tong-il-chon and their associated values, and second, a sociopolitical analysis to understand the establishment of Tong-il-chon not only within the political, social, and economic background of South Korea in 1970s, but also in comparison with other countries’ cases which applied similar strategic development methods to certain villagizations. After Tong-il-chon’s values are defined, the current context around Tong-il-chon will be discussed to identify main imminent issues that could threaten the integrity of Tong-il- chon. Lastly, effective management plans and recommendations will be proposed based on the assessed values of Tong-il-chon, which will be suggesting an overarching conceptual foundation through more specific, elaborated objectives and methodologies so that they can help the village evolve into living heritage with a successful balance between preservation and development.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
August 10, 2020