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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2014  /  October 2014  /  Urban Regeneration and the Future of Industrial Complexes

Urban Regeneration and the Future of Industrial Complexes

Robin Kim delivers Keynote Lecture at 50th Anniversary Conference

Urban Regeneration and the Future of Industrial Complexes

15th September 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the Korean Industrial Complex Corporation. To celebrate this, the Corporation organised an International Conference at G-Valley Bizplaza, Seoul, Korea. Dr Robin J H Kim was invited to give a keynote lecture, on Urban Regeneration and the Future of Industrial Complexes.

After the Korea War, industrial complexes were strategically developed in several regional areas including Seoul. They played a significant role in supporting the Korean economy and society, contributing to the attraction of investment, generation of employment, accelerating local development and improving social infrastructure. Although some Korean industrial complexes are still working very well, many have declined over the last two decades, with the wider loss of manufacturing employment. Moreover, derelict industrial complexes have caused considerable contamination of air, water and soil, consequently giving an impetus to the development of sustainable industrial complexes.

Highlighting the historical context of industrial complexes, Robin argued that the core issue related to their contemporary development lies in the way they may become part of urban regeneration, focusing on the harmony of economic, environmental and social aspects. In other words, industrial complexes need to become a means of achieving sustainable growth. Robin suggested five elements in planning the future of Korean industrial complexes to support spatial remodeling beyond simply physical remodeling: Identifying innovative industries for the complexes; setting up processes for creating eco-industrial parks; positioning industrial complexes as a socio-economic hub for the local economy; incubating smaller business; and encouraging entrepreneurship.


Dr Robin Kim

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