Son Woo-kyung, Editor & You Da-yeon, Reporter
Many people can’t live in their own place where they have ever lived. Not only did they lose their hometown, also they lost their memories they kept, feelings they got and the place they believe. This phenomenon is called ‘gentrification’. Have you ever heard about this phenomenon? This phenomenon happened Jeonju Hanok Village, Hong-dae, and Ikseon-dong. Now, let’s find out what gentrification is about.
● Gentrification, What Is the Meaning of You?
The origin of gentrification means that an inflow of outsider in one town makes the town vitalized. However, according to the English sociologist Ruth Glass, gentrification is the phenomenon that the natives are ousted by the inflow of outsider. She held up as an example that the flowed gentry took away the public in Chelsea and Hampstead in west side of London. Around the world, residential gentrification is common phenomenon. However, in Korea, commercial gentrification is standard of gentrification. Commercial gentrification appears exit of tenant because of rent fee’s increasing. In the case of this gentrification, residents are excluded and commercial areas are developed. Then, now, it’s time to look more about where commercial gentrification is appeared.
● Where Can I Find You, Gentrification?
Ikseon-dong, Seoul, is one of the damaged villages by gentrification. We can find Korea’s gentrification here. Until last year, Ikseon-dong was a place where the Korean style houses are scattered and was a needy people’s nest. However, through many social networks, Ikseon-dong became famous.
JeonjuHanok Village is another one. Nowadays,
Jeonju became really famous tourist attraction and Hanok Village hid in its background. However, it is also fevered by gentrification. Thanks to this precedent, Jeonju prepares for another damage of gentrification to Jeonju Seohak-dong, Korea. The preparation for Seohak-dong is that Jeonju city designates ordinance about coexistent cooperation of region.
Soho, New York, United States is the famous place which has damage of gentrification. In 1970s, Soho’s unique artistic attraction got big fame. However, this fame caused other disease called speculation. If you had ever visited Soho, New York, you could see fashionable shops of Channel, Prada and so on. Fortunately, on the other side of Soho, you can see old, loved and past figure of Soho. New York City designated this form as historic village reservation.
● Bright and Dark Side of Gentrification
How do you think about gentrification so far? Then, let’s see more about gentrification’s two sides. The bright side of gentrification is vitalization of backward region and increased floating population. Vitalization of backward region would generate development of the city and increase citizen’s average income. Floating population would call easing of imbalance with other regions. At the same time, bright side brings about dark side. So to speak, every dark side connects with speculation. At first, speculation causes additional increase of rent fee and this one calls growth of regional service cost. Second, speculation will monopolize the market and the people who live in have to leave the area. With additional reasons – also including speculation- community has conflict and society’s variety would be decrease.
● Way to Make Harmony with Others
New York City’s ‘New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC)’ is one of the medicines. New York City implemented this corporation to prevent it from becoming a tragedy which is caused by gentrification. This national corporation is similar to real estate, but it is different from existing real estate in supporting workroom to artists and they burden low interest. This corporation still runs these days and they contribute to the development of New York. Not just abroad, in Korea, we can also find a similar form of NYCEDC. Manli-dong Artist Cooperative (M.A.COOP) looks much alike with NYCEDC. M.A.COOP is an art town that Seoul-city and Seoul Housing & Communities Corporation support artists to focus on their own artwork.
A phenomenon is just like a knife. If a person uses a knife as a butter knife, it could be good. However, if that knife is used for killing someone or damaging others, it is bad and dangerous. Gentrification is a phenomenon about city’s development. Now, we all know about the gentrification. The only thing that we have is how to prevent thoughtless speculation. And this would be composed by local government. Just like Jeonju, local government’s role is important. Propose and act! This is the way we can do!