SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, November 27, 2018 – There had been years of conflict in the “Ogin-dong’s Zone 1,” one of the historic neighborhoods in Seoul, between the redevelopment union and local residents and civic society organizations who have requested to preserve the area’s old glory of Hanyang (old name of Seoul). Now, this seven-year confrontation has been ended and the area will be regenerated as a village of history and culture.
Ogin-dong’s Zone 1 was designated as a redevelopment area in December 2007, and was approved to do so in November 2009. However, as the application for the authority of management disposal was rejected in June 2011, a conflict had been created between development and preservation, which made the redevelopment project be delayed for a long time. In March 2017 when the area’s designation of the redevelopment was canceled for the good of preservation of historical and cultural values, the conflict had been even worse.
To resolve the conflict, the Seoul Metropolitan Government had provided every support – it held several series of in-depth interviews with the union, performed a balancing act between the different sides in the conflict, and dispatched coordinators to reconcile the confrontation. Through these efforts by the city government, the two sides finally settled the conflict. It is meaningful to be the first case that redevelopment-caused conflict was resolved through the city government’s arbitration and mutual agreement between the union and the residents.
The key factor of the agreement is that the Seoul Metropolitan Government provides administrative and financial support to improve the outdated environment in the area while preserving the precious value of the cultural heritages.
Ogin-dong’s Zone 1 is located between the west side of Gyeongbukgung Palace and Inwangsan Mountain, and it has rich historical and cultural assets, such as 16 Hanoks, or traditional houses, including the uncle of Queen Sunjong, Yoon Deok-young’ luxury Hanok with an application of western style, Site of Songseogwon, and Gajae Well. That is why it has been asked by many to be preserved as a main place of literature in the late Choseon Dynasty.
Considering the characteristics of the area, the Seoul Metropolitan Government held a briefing session for residents in October, and is pinching in the regeneration plan to make the area as a representative historical and cultural neighborhood of Seoul. With the residents, it will include all detailed regeneration methods in the plan – how to preserve and use historical and cultural resources, how to improve poor living environments and houses, and how to operate community programs.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-Soon said, “This is a good example of resolving disputes in the region through the cooperation between the government and private sectors.” He added that the city government will implement urban regeneration focusing on the region’s history and cultural assets to restore Ogin-dong.