Notes from Sejong City

The brand new city of Sejong in South Korea has so far received little academic attention internationally. This is surprising, given the scale of the undertaking; when complete, it will accommodate up to half a million residents, with the national government footing the bill. In a new thought piece published on our website, Rob Cowley (one of our doctoral researchers) reflects on a recent fieldwork trip to Sejong. He discusses the nature of the lessons that might be learnt from new-build eco-cities of this type, given that their emergence depends on very context-specific favourable conditions, and suggests that it may be unhelpful when plans to build whole new cities are dismissed as problematically utopian. Rob’s PhD thesis, entitled ‘Eco-Cities: Technological Showcases or Public Spaces?’ has a special focus on the conceptualisation and performance of ‘publicness’ in eco-city initiatives around the world. It is being supervised by Professor Simon Joss and Dr Daniel Greenwood in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster.

Read Rob’s blog on Sejong City here

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