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Title: New Songdo City, or, The potentiality of Asian urbanism(s)
Author: Choi, Lisa
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 2294
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis explores the nexus between 'urban expressionism' and the potentiality of 'Asian urbanism(s)' by exploring ways that different planning paradigms have been located/dislocated in the case of New Songdo City, South Korea. By investigating four expressions of New Songdo City - as an 'Eco-City', a 'Smart City', an 'International City', and as the 'City of the Future' - this thesis argues that urban expressionism can make important contributions to the aims of Asian urbanism(s). Ultimately, this research demonstrates the ways that urban expressionism can be used to destabilize hegemonic Western-centric urban knowledge and city-building practices, and further point to new geographies of theory from which important contributions to urban research can be made. Urban expressions are made evident by various entwined urban rhetorics and worlding practices that operationalize multiple mediums of communication. Consequently, New Songdo City is, first and foremost, a city of simultaneity. To investigate this simultaneity, this research utilizes an exploratory case study approach and multiple qualitative methods that include semi-structured interviewing, focus groups, and surveys to gather insights from residents of Songdo, local experts, public and private sector actors, and other key stakeholder groups. Visual analysis is also used to explore mixed-mediums of data, including promotional videos, images, exhibition displays, magazines, and advertisements. The methods used to undertake this thesis provide a glimpse in to the development of New Songdo City and capture different urban expressions that are articulated by the city through various examples of urban rhetoric and worlding practices. The urban expressions presented in the New Songdo City case are analysed through the lens of Asian urbanism(s) and investigate the ways that hegemonic Western and Euro-centric conceptualizations of 'the urban' and 'the city' have been deployed, articulated, experienced, challenged, and complicated. By extension, this thesis also contributes to a more nuanced conceptualization of Asian urbanism(s) as well as the relevance of New Songdo City for urban theory in South Korean, Asian, and more generalizable contexts.
Supervisor: McCormack, Derek ; McDowell, Linda Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Urban Theory ; Geography ; Urban geography ; City of Tomorrow ; Eco City ; Asian Urbanism ; South Korea ; Smart City ; International City ; New Songdo City