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Gov`t to Release 100 Million Pyong (333.7 sq. km)

Posted August. 31, 2001 08:36,   


The government will gradually release 100 million pyong (333.7 sq. km) of land, including 34 million pyong, in the nation`s seven metropolitan cities from the development-restricted (greenbelt) zone by 2020. The areas to be removed from greenbelt designation represent 7.8 percent of the total greenbelt zone across the nation, which amounts to 4,258.3 sq. km.

Especially, a total of 104,000 households, which is 83.9 percent of 120,000 households, within the affected areas will be able to build the houses and to exercise property rights. This is the first biggest release (more than 100 million pyong) of greenbelt zone since the introduction of greenbelt zone system in 1971.

Ministry of Construction and Transportation (MCT) received `plan on the metropolitan cities and regulation of the development-restricted zone` from the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements (KRIHS). The plan will be reviewed by the Council of Urban Planning for Metropolitan Cities on Friday and the cabinet meeting on September 4th before being finalized as a government bill. According to the plan, the area`s to be disbanded from the development-restricted zone include 34 million pyong for Seoul and its outlying areas, 12.7 million pyong for Pusan, 10.6 million pyong for Daegu.

MCT will decide `the total permissible size of land for release` and the criteria of release, while each provincial government will select specific areas to be released under the permission of Minister of Construction and Transportation. Each provincial government plans to hold a public hearing as early as September.

The KRIHS explained that it selected the candidate areas for release, focusing on 4-5 level areas which have lower value for preservation, based on environmental impact assessments.

Especially, priority was given to population-concentrated residential areas and the population criterion for Seoul was 100 households, 50 households for Busan, and 30 household for other cities.

Each provincial government can release non-residential areas after mapping out city development plans by 2020.

Most of the civil grievance is anticipated to be settled due to the large-size release of greenbelt zone. However, environment organizatons` opposition is anticipated due to the reduction of green zones. It is possible that the plan can be disputed as a pork-barreling policy ahead of provincial government election and the presidential election next year.

Koo Ja-Ryong bonhong@donga.com