Prof Mack Joong Choi

Graduate School of Environmental Studies
Seoul National University

Prof. Mack Joong Choi is tenured professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Seoul National University. He received his bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University with major in Architecture. He holds a Master of Urban Planning from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from Harvard University with minor in Economics.

Prof. Choi has served as the Dean of the Graduate School of Environmental Studies for the last four years as well as the President of Korea Planning Association (KPA) for the past two years. He has also served as Senior Editor of International Journal of Urban Sciences (IJUS), Executive Committee Member of Asian Planning Schools Association (APSA), Policy Unit Expert for United Nations Habitat III, and International Panel of Experts for Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in Singapore.

Prof. Mack Joong Choi has published numerous papers in the field of planning and development, including land use planning, urban (re)development, housing policies, and real estate and urban economics. As one of the leading planners, Prof. Choi has actively participated in major planning and development projects in Korea, while serving as the member of various government committees including the National Planning Committee and Urban Planning Committee of Seoul.

Title: Building Inclusive Cities and Resilient Communities: Lessons from Seoul, Korea

The presentation addresses two related issues in terms of inclusive cities and resilient communities respectively, focusing on the case of Seoul in Korea.

The first part brings up the issue of age-responsive planning in relation to inclusive cities, paying specific attention to the elderly people among other vulnerable social groups. The paper discusses the methods in which age-responsive planning take into account the particular needs of vulnerable social groups, and contribute towards the crafting of targeted approaches which seek to address their specific needs.

The second part of the presentation starts with the Korean government’s plan of an ‘Urban Regeneration New Deal’, before elaborating on the fundamental challenges in building resilient residential communities within Seoul.

The paper argues that the nature and extent of redevelopment projects have impeded the formation of resilient communities in rapidly changing Seoul. In contrast, community regeneration projects which allows for stability and permanency have enhanced the level of resiliency in local communities. Nonetheless, the paper also highlights the inherent ironies in Seoul’s urban and social landscape which potentially undermine the efficacy of current community regeneration initiatives.