Overcoming Urban Growth Coalition: The Case of Culture-Led Urban Revitalization in Busan, South Korea
Facing both neoliberalism and the persisting legacies of developmentalism, many South Korean cities continue to subscribe to strong growth-first ideologies, despite their deindustrialization and aging populations. The growth orientation in cities, however, is far from being limited to South Korea. In fact, the recently emerging discourse on urban shrinkage, which has been West-centric so far, is questioning the bias toward growth in cities, and calling for a paradigm shift. This article brings together the literatures on shrinking cities and urban politics to illustrate how an East Asian city, transforming from a developmentalist to an entrepreneurial city, could seek a development alternative to the one based on the neoliberal competition for capital. Specifically, it examines the case of Totatoga, a culture-led urban revitalization project in a declining, old commercial district of Busan. It explains how a new kind of state-society collaboration opportunely explored a development path other than growth.
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