Community Resilience of the Korean New Village Movement, 1970-1979: Historical Interpretation and Resilience Assessment
Kim, Chung Ho
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This dissertation investigates the Korean New Village Movement (Saemaul Undong, New Rural Community Movement, or the KNVM) driven by the strong top-down leadership of President Park, Chung-hee in the 1970s. As a reaction to rapid Korean urbanization, the KNVM supported rural villages, transformed long-standing human settlements rapidly, and created social-ecological sudden changes of population and resource management. In this context, I investigate community resilience of rural villages supported by the KNVM in the 1970s to rapid urbanization through a framework of social-ecological resilience. This dissertation is structured in five parts with corresponding objectives: 1) to present a comprehensive research framework to interpret and assess the KNVM’s community resilience to rapid urbanization; 2) to identify the KNVM’s rationale, historical progress, and transformation of built environments, by comparing and contrasting the KNVM’s national-scale plans with village-scale projects based on sample villages; 3) to interpret the KNVM’s transformation in terms of human settlements, contextualizing it with Korean traditional houses and villages; 4) and 5) to assess the community resilience of rural villages supported by the KNVM to rapid urbanization in two dimensions of demography and ecology, addressing the cross-scale and cross-sectoral interaction of the KNVM to population change and resource management change. In conclusion, I discuss the following main findings: 1) The KNVM was an urban development in the rural sector rather than a rural development. The KNVM’s rapid and large-scale transformation created functional change of rural villages in terms of human settlements, which was to value service and infrastructure of rural villages rather than shelter. As a result, the KNVM caused rural villages to fall into high urban dependence and lose existing self-sufficiency. 2) The KNVM’s social-ecological resilience assessments show inconsistent results depending on temporal and spatial dimensions. More specifically, the KNVM was responsible for the short-term population mitigation of rapid urbanization, but the long-term urban-rural population polarization in terms of demographic resilience. Meanwhile, the KNVM contributed to the national-scale and local-scale reforestation, but the global-scale consequence of high foreign dependence of resource and energy in terms of ecological resilience.
- Urban planning