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Gentrification in Seoul

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Introduction

Gentrification refers to the changes that occur in poor urban areas as a result of population migration (Kim, 2010). Gentrification generally takes place when middle and high class residents move to a poor neighborhood. This movement prompts the improvement of houses and other facilities to support the new residents. As a result, prices of almost every commodity hike, making life unaffordable for the residents who previously lived there. The process is double-faceted in that it has both negative and positive consequences. The negative consequences relate to the displacement of the poor populations. The positive one relate to the improved development of urban centers. Depending on the stakeholders analyzing the process of gentrification, there exist different views regarding it. From the original residents of the urban areas going through gentrification, the process is negative because it disrupts their normal way of life. Due to the high cost of living, they are forced to move to other areas, which inconveniences them since they have to re-adjust to new environments and friends. On the other hand, local authorities view the process as a  positive way of transforming the urban neighborhoods. The new residents view the process as positive because it provides them with an affordable accommodation and a decent neighborhood. Improved the living standards in these urban centers increase the taxes collected by the local authorities. The city of Seoul is one of the urban centers whose neighborhoods have experienced gentrification. Two of Seoul’s neighborhoods that have experienced gentrification are Insadong and Samchungdong.  This paper will explore the process of gentrification with regard to the city of Seoul and its neighborhoods such as Insadong and Samchungdon. To fully understand the process of gentrification in Seoul, other areas that have experienced gentrification will be explored. Moreover, the paper will highlight some of the factors that influence the process of gentrification.

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