This chapter discusses trends in Korean urbanization during the era of increasing globalization. Much of the earlier globalization bypassed Korea except in the sense that its industrial growth was propelled forward by export expansion. More recently, however, Korea has had to face the impacts of globalization on the internal dynamics of the Korean economy and its cities: trade liberalization, market opening and foreign direct investment. This has resulted in severe adjustment problems in terms of economic structure (the transition to high-order services has probably been too slow) and the urban hierarchy (reinforcing the larger cities, especially the Seoul metropolitan region). There are opportunities and goals, e.g. to attract global events (in sports and culture) and to build up Seoul as the symbolic land bridge linking China and Japan. However, the government has not yet developed a viable trade-off between the dispersal policies aimed at achieving balanced regional development and the implicit spatial consequences (benefiting the larger cities) of accommodating globalization.
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- The impacts of globalization on the urban spatial-economic system in Korea
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