The Bartlett School of Planning


Dongho Han

Research subject

Mobilising the concept of sustainability throughout urban regeneration projects: focusing on a case of Centum City, Busan, South Korea

Primary supervisor: Professor Yvonne Rydin
Secondary supervisor: Dr Susan Moore
Starting date: October 2016
Projected completion date: October 2020

In the latter half of 20th century, many industrial cities experienced long-term structural change and post-industrial decline under the conditions of neo-liberalism and the flexible post-fordist form of capitalism (Grant & Scott, 1996). Public and local authorities have therefore promoted the urban regeneration project, as a strategic tool which is reflective of the shift from urban managerialism to urban entrepreneurialism first described by Harvey (1989). This urban intervention seeks to achieve economic revitalisation, to reverse social decline and to improve environmental quality by refurbishing derelict areas focusing on mixed-use development including residential, commercial, cultural, institutional and industrial uses (Smith & Garcia-Ferrari, 2012).

Through the globalisation, such successful large scale post-industrial urban regeneration near waterfront area in global cities such as London, Vancouver, and Baltimore have been paid attention gradually. Indeed, a number of policy makers, urban planners and international architecture firms have endeavoured to emulate similar types of redevelopment projects (through the urban policy making process) across the world (Marshall, 2004). Also, the ‘sustainability’ discourses have been circulated across the world within urban regeneration practice, promoting sustainability under the idea of sustainable development (Adams, 1993).

My interest is on how the sustainability idea in the local urban regeneration projects are instituted and mutated over time; over space; and which factors within international ideas may be influencing local temporal and spatial contexts. To address this issue, the thesis will draw on the concept of policy mobility (McCann, 2008) and sustainability fix (While et al., 2004) as a theoretical framework. Indeed, this research will explore how the idea of urban regeneration near waterfront area and global demands of urban policies regarding sustainability were used interactively in a strategic spatial planning process in the city of Busan, South Korea. To conceptualise the policy mobility framework and sustainability fix on an empirical case study, four consecutive urban regeneration projects (two flagship development and two smart city projects) in Busan, South Korea will be explored.


Dongho is a PhD candidate at the Bartlett School of Planning under the supervision of Professor Yvonne Rydin, and Dr Susan More. He has a BArch at Pusan National University, Busan, South Korea and a MSc in Urban Regeneration at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL. He worked for Research Institute of Industrial Technology and for an instructor of BIM software, ArchiCAD and Revit, at Pusan National University. His research focuses on sustainable urban regeneration particularly concerning on policy mobility and sustainability fix.


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