Developing an Environmentally Sustainable Planning Framework for South Korea: Lessons from Local Plan-making in England

  • Eunkyoung Kim

Student thesis: Phd


Sustainable development has attracted attention from both English and Korean planning systems. Whilst embracing this concept within planning, both countries have attempted to reform their local plan-making systems to flexibly respond to changing circumstances. This similarity of direction towards reformation of the planning sector raises questions for this research. Given that England embarked on promoting sustainability within its plan-making system ahead of Korea and reforming its planning system in the same direction as Korea, there may be a possibility that the current English planning system shows how far Korea can progress in the pursuit of a more environmentally sustainable planning system in the future.With this in mind, the research deals with two domains: understanding the environmental sustainability of the local plan-making systems in the two countries and discussion of the transferability of the lessons extracted from the comparative analysis. The findings reveal that many of the lessons learnt from the English experience could be adaptable in a Korean context under the existing legislation and that an amendment of national directives, in particular, Directive on Urban Planning could expand transferability. For instance, by designing the process of community participation and integration in greater detail in the Directive and suggesting detailed process of strategic environmental assessment as in the English system, there is a greater possibility for the local plan-making system in Korea to support environmental sustainability within planning more substantially. Together with this, findings on transferability anticipate that a potential conflict could exist due to the financial and administrative burden which may be imposed on local planning. Furthermore, the consensual knowledge held by actors involved in the plan-making process could facilitate the transferability of the suggested lessons. However, the current Korean politics which is focused on economic concerns surrounding the reformation of the plan-making process could create potential obstacles in accomplishing the suggested lessons.
Date of Award31 Dec 2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorMark Baker (Supervisor) & Philip Bell (Supervisor)


  • spatial planning
  • sustainability

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