The Bartlett School of Planning


Socially Just Planning: Planning for multicultural and pluri-ethnic cities: perspectives from Seoul

26 November 2020, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Socially Just Planning

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Jingyi Zhu

This research analyses the construction of immigrant groups and their marginalisation within urban planning practices in South Korea drawing upon the lens of developmentalism. Specifically, this paper focuses on low-income foreign-born workers and marriage migrants, the largest immigrant groups in Seoul, who account for 36% and 7.9% respectively of the city’s immigrant population, and their inclusion and exclusion in urban planning processes. This paper shows that diversity policies in Seoul tend to appropriate and reproduce global discourses about diversity, creativity and tolerance. However, only certain foreign-born populations from North America or Western Europe are recognised in the policies. Moreover, these local policies ultimately reaffirm rather than challenge national definitions of the different ethnic groups. The study is based on a documentary analysis of past and present policies on immigrants in Seoul, and interviews with public officials and immigrants. 

About the Speaker

Dr Hyunji Cho

at Bartlett School of Planning, UCL