A future for Euljiro: The influence of social cohesion on participatory planning, influenced by institutional factors

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Euljiro is an area in the centre of Seoul, South Korea, which has seen economical flourishment in the early years of the economical growth. Nevertheless, since the economy is changing, this area has been in a decline and the area development stagnated, this due to changing economical factors and no fitting vision for the area. The development of the area has been under discussion, since the area development plans are contradicting the cultural value the area has. But since South Korea has a history in participatory planning and the interest in this method has been renewed, interest arose if this could be the fitting solution for the development of the Euljiro area. The question is, how participation in area development can be influenced positively, since the stagnation of the area development led to several conflicts. Therefore, the following research question is formulated: ‘To what extent does social cohesion affect the degree to which residents are willing to participate in area development, and to what extent is that impact influenced by institutional factors?’ To answer this research question a survey was conducted among the residents of Euljiro, with the questions being derived from a literature study. The data that was gathered was tested via IBM SPSS, where the relationship of the variables was analysed via the multiple regression method. The conclusion of these statistic tests is that social cohesion affects the degree of willingness to participate in area development. The higher the social cohesion, the more likely respondents are activated and willing to participate. The influence of formal and informal institutions can be defined as one of a more indirect kind, since the institutional availability is of significance on social cohesion, but not directly on participatory planning.
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