Urban growth determinants in Korea : with special reference to the three regional metropolitan cities
Korea has severe spatial problems as a result of rapid urbanisation and urban growth. In order to clarify urban growth processes, this study involves the identification of the major urban growth determinants which have influenced urban growth and change in Korea. Through both, theoretical and empirical studies, three major determinants were identified: accessibility, industrial structure, and development institutions. The term "accessibility" indicates-not only physical nearness but also functional connections with relevant areas. The findings -of the research show that there are strong positive relationship between-accessibility and urban growth in -Korea. As a composite economic indicator, - urban industrial structure reflects the soundness of urban economic activities in terms of employment opportunities, income generation, and innovation adoption. Thus, it can be assumed that an urban place which has a more advanced industrial structure can bring more urban growth than one without such a structure. This study suggests that urban growth in Korea has been strongly influenced by manufacturing oriented' industry growth. Development institutions have particular meanings for urban growth in Korea as urban growth has been greatly influenced by development policies initiated by central government. These include economic development, national land development, and industrial location policies. These three determinants reinforce or counteract each other to influence the speed and direction of urban growth and change. The impacts of these determinants can change according to the circumstances of the urban growth environment in Korea. The meaning of locational factors has changed from their physical aspects to their functional oriented aspects. In many more developed countries, the emphasis has shifted from manufacturing oriented industrial structures to service and/or information oriented industrial activities. Development institutions, can also be changed from centralised to decentralised forms in terms of decision making regarding urban growth and change. However, although circumstances may changes, the importance of the three determinants will not be weakened because of their critical importance for urban growth and change. These three determinants are proxy factors of three important aspects in the urban environment: accessibility for location, industrial structure for economic activities, and development institutions for the institutional context. The findings of this research suggest that urban, growth policies should focus on the administration of these three determinants. Without efficient management for these determinants, -it will be very difficult to tackle national spatial -problems. To encourage urban growth in particular areas, the situational circumstances of the three determinants in those places should, be improved with control measures in other areas. Further research on these three determinants is required to test their validity _ under changing circumstances and different urban growth environments.