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[Editorial] Everybody Knows the Hidden Intention of the Metropolitan Area Development Measure

[Editorial] Everybody Knows the Hidden Intention of the Metropolitan Area Development Measure

Posted June. 28, 2005 06:03,   


A comprehensive measure for the Seoul Metropolitan area development that was reported by Ministry of Construction and Transportation and the National Balance Development Committee to a ruling party-government consultative conference is nothing but a clumsy combination of actions recently announced by Gyeonggi-do and Seoul. Since this measure that was primarily designed to mitigate the infuriation of the metropolitan area residents was proposed just four days after the government’s announcement of a plan to relocate 176 public organizations, there are many points that don’t make sense at all.

For example, according to this measure, Myeong-dong, Yeouido, and Gangnam area in Seoul will be developed as a future financial hub of Northeast Asia. In that case, there is no reason to move public financial organizations such as Korea Asset Management Corporation, the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit, Korea Credit Guarantee Fund, Korea Housing Finance Corporation, and Korea Securities Depository to other local places. In addition, the measure included relaxing regulations on lands within natural protection areas, which were designated to protect Paldang water resources that are mostly used in the metropolitan area. This plan, however, will further deteriorate water quality and thus threaten the lives of the metropolitan area residents seriously. The measure also suggested that the Gwacheon Government Complex will be used as a school-industry partnership research complex. However, the other day, they proposed that after selling the complex, they will use the money to help the construction of administrative capital. What nonsense!

The government decided to relocate public organizations and administrative branches for the balanced development of the nation. Now, it again proposes to develop Seoul as the hub city of Northeast Asian and the Mecca of the nation’s innovative transformation. It has been heard that as many as 600 plans for the development of the metropolitan area were presented by the lawmakers of the ruling party, whose districts are mostly in Gyeonggi-do and Seoul, pushed by increasing the infuriation of voters in the districts. Namely, the government has now demonstrated complete contradiction. While hindering the establishment of new industries in this area under the name of the nation’s balanced development, at the same time, it recklessly proposes various policies that solely aim at appealing voters.

The government is now attempting to reconstruct different regions of this country with different ways. The Chungcheong area is to be reconstructed as administrative city. Non-Chungchoeng areas are facing new changes thanks to the relocation of public organizations and the establishment of 20 new cities. Also, the metropolitan area is seeing a risky move for change that is spurred by clumsy development measures. A well-organized gradual plan for land development doesn’t exist at all. Instead, the government recklessly proposes policy plans in order to just appeal the residents in the given areas. How worrisome it is!

The aftermath of such reckless development plans has also dampened the effort for economic recovery. Almost all regions of the country are being swept by the fury of speculation, which in turn, has increased the cost of national-level projects. As a result, the projects, even though they were evaluated as proper in the initial stage, are hardly being implemented as scheduled. The investment environment of industries also has been worsening. The gap between the haves and have-nots is now further widening. Narrowing this gap is almost impossible now.