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Balanced Development Plan

Four districts in the northeast area of Seoul become “the center of the northeast metropolitan life zone.”

Four districts (Seongbuk, Gangbuk, Dobong, Nowon) in the northeast area of Seoul will become a new center for the northeastern metropolitan life zone where some 320,000 citizens reside, encompassing its neighboring areas after removing the image of poor residential areas located in the outskirts of Seoul.


Suggest a new model for the cooperative regional development policy with private-public governance to realize region-specific development
  • Seoul City’s strategies for balanced development implement the basic principle to induce regional-specific development by utilizing each area’s strong points and resources, instead of implementing the same development strategies in different areas.
  • The city has come up with new development strategies jointly with Seoul City, 4 districts in the northeast area, and development research team of the area and named the strategies the Happy 4-District Plan.
  • Happy 4-District Plan: The plan involves constructing the Changdong and Sanggye area, which has a large, empty land that is twice the size of COEX, to become a central business district (CBD) that will create 80,000 jobs and help the area grow, starting from the preparation of business creation to the growth stage of the business by utilizing strong educational resources available from the four districts.
  • The plan will revitalize the regional economy by creating tourist attractions with natural and historic resources and change the poor regional environment by securing green space, culture and living infrastructure successively to increase the competitiveness of the area.
  • The Northeast 4-District Development Cooperative Group, which has been formed autonomously by universities, civic groups, and districts, suggested a regional development proposal  prepared in cooperation with local residents and the Northeast 4-District Development Research Group for over 2 years  to Seoul City in September 2013. Seoul City decided on a final proposal after considering a higher plan, such as the 2030 Seoul Plan, and going through the process of consensus with the city-district consultative group.

“3 core issues in constructing the foundation for regional development: Seoul City leads the project, and districts provide cooperation

  • Regional Development Foundation Construction is a project to establish the foundation for regional development. It consists of 3 core issues: (1) construct the Changsong and Sanggye area as a central business district (CBD); (2) assist a system for urban development; and (3) strengthen the base of green life environment along Jungryangcheon Stream. Seoul City will lead the project, with related districts providing cooperation.


Construct a new central business district (CBD) that can create 80,000 jobs by utilizing a large empty land available in Changdong and Sanggye
  • Foster the Changdong and Sanggye area as a new central business district (CBD) that can create 80,000 jobs and play a central role in the northeast metropolitan area where some 320,000 citizens reside.
  • Seoul City will do its best to realize the project as soon as possible by creating a condition for development by securing land beforehand and by leading the project in areas where land is already available.
  • To do this, the city will establish a department dedicated to the Changdong Sanggye area to construct an efficient project execution system covering planning up to development.


Review the expansion of a commercial area in relation to the development of new transit area and apply the height limit (20m) only to the maximum height districts
  • Seoul City’s assistance of urban planning system involves increasing civic vitality and leading regional involvement by providing assistance in the form of available urban planning means, such as use of the area and construction of districts.
  • After realizing the new construction of light rails such as Dongbuk Line, whose construction will start this year, Seoul City will review the development of new rail-influenced areas, establishment of life zones, and expansion of commercial areas.
Complete a green space network (Taereung-Gyeongchun Line-Jungryangcheon Stream-Choansan Mountain) in relation to the construction of a park after removing Gyeongchun Line
  • Improve the green space environment along with regional development.
  • Construct Jungryangcheon (Stream) and Uicheon (Stream), which pass through the development area as the central green area in the northeast area of Seoul; construct eco parks such as gardens along the streams and connect the disconnected green spaces in the districts.
  • The available land after removing the Gyeongchun Line near Bulransan Mountain, which will be completed as a park by 2015,  will be developed into a green space network connecting Taereung area-Gyeongchun Line-Jungnayngcheon (Stream)-Choansan (Mountain) in relation to historic and cultural resources in the areas, such as Taereung and Choansan.


Two core issues for the active use of regional resources: in cooperation with the 4 districts

  • The active use of regional resources will be ensured through joint cooperation with the four districts, not the independent effort of each district; two core issues will support the project: (1) specialization of knowledge and education, and; (2) construction of a natural, historic, and cultural tourism belt.


Construct an area specializing in knowledge and education for employment, business creation, and research; provide space for employment and business creation in relation to the available land
  • Construct the area as a district specializing in knowledge and education by the strength of the region, i.e., having the highest number of universities and human and technological resources in Seoul.
  • Use a method of inducing development by establishing conditions for 150,000 human resources to settle in the area for employment, business creation, and research.
  • The city will actively provide help to revitalize the exchange of knowledge by establishing long-term development measures for the Hongreung area where many research institutes are located.


Attract tourists with the area’s natural, historic, and cultural resources; construct settlement-type tourism infrastructure, such as Cheongrok-gil
  • The construction of the Natural, Historic, and Cultural Tourism Belt will make the area a famous tourist attraction by transforming its quality resources into a form of storytelling. New resources will also be developed to make the area a famous tourist site.
  • The city will connect disconnected areas such as paths in the famous Bukhansan Mountain and Bulamsan Mountain, construct a walking path (tentative name: Cheongrok-gil) that connects  natural and historic resources, and construct the Seongbuk Scenic Exploration Path along the 310m-long northern side of Seoul Fortress by this year.
  • The city is planning to revitalize tourism in the region by securing settlement-type tourism infrastructure, such as: a temple-stay project by utilizing traditional temples (Hwagyesa Temple in Gangbuk and Gilsangsa Temple in Seongbuk); hanok (traditional Korean house) guest house project; construction of family-oriented camping sites in Choansan Mountain and Wuyi-dong areas, and; construction of museum mall and related programs on the land of the Seoul Northern District Court.


Two core issues to resolve regional issues:by district and town, assisted by Seoul City

  • Projects of securing cultural, welfare, and sports facilities, which are directly related to the life of residents and which are also common issues for the four districts in the northeast area of Seoul, will use land that is jointly owned by the four districts in the northeast area of Seoul to supply the facilities in high demand first. The project will be led by the districts and towns, assisted by Seoul City.


First supply highly-demanding facilities in each district after securing a consensus at the mayor of each district
  • Facilities in high demand and for which consensus has been reached at the Mayor’s office of each district in September 2013 will be supplied first, such as: (1) moving the Jeongreung Public Garage to underground and construction of community space for Seongbuk District; (2) construction of a sports facility for Gangbuk District; (3) construction of the Miracle Library and a welfare center for the disabled for Dobong District; (4) construction of the Eoullim Sports Center for Nowon District.
  • The city plans to address the inconvenience experienced by residents in the area by listening to residents’ complaints, such as modernization of recycling place in Seokgwan-dong and reduction of noise along the roads.


Establish a dedicated organization called “Happy 4-District Plan Execution Group,” and operate it in relation to the Urban Regeneration Assistance Center
  • Seoul City plans to establish the Seoul City Happy 4-District Plan Execution Group, which is a dedicated group, to implement the development strategies effectively and continuously and to operate the group in relation to the Urban Regeneration Assistance Center, a citizens-public-academe/industry/research joint organization.
  • The city emphasizes that this project is an important starting point that will change the future of the entire Seoul as it seeks the specialization of each district and balanced development in Seoul even though this project starts from the four districts in the northeast area of Seoul. The city will expand the project to other districts in Seoul to realize balanced development.
  • The city intends to announce development plans for each area step by step: (1) Downtown Area: planning for the development of the historic downtown area; (2) Southwest area: planning for the development of heavy industrial area; (3) Northwest area: planning for development around Susek Station, and; (4) Southeast area: planning for the construction of a complex hub such as Youngdong MICE as well as for the establishment of a life zone across the entire Seoul