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Opportunities and challenges of urban design in reflecting regional identity.


If I am asked by someone what urban design, architecture are to me, I would say, “It is nostalgia”.

Christian norberg-schulz said: “To dwell means to belong to a given place”. It is the architecture and urban design I am thinking of. As an architecture the place to which the users become interested and attached is as important as the good-content architecture. I would like to become an architect who creates something special for people in their everyday life in urban settings.


As a starter for my blog entries, I would like to share a story about my experiences in my home country, South Korea. I was born and raised in a small town, and I went to a local college. As the area has been urbanized through redevelopments, I dealt with many topics related to urban development and urban regeneration in the college. What I learned was that consideration of the context of the city and preservation of regionality are important factors in drawing user attention and attachment. My interest has not only led me to actively participate in class activities but also in many pieces of research about urban development. I have experienced dramatic changes in the physical settings of my hometown. The traces of its past sceneries and memories were disappeared in high-rise flats and commercial buildings to meet contemporary needs only in a few years.


In this situation, urban designers, architects and politicians should take an important role in preserving national and regional identity for dwellers, which they can root for their originality.


  • Urban design is to make a user-friendly and healthy environment in terms of well-being, convenience and sustainable economy.
  • Urban design actively promotes social activities and interaction by using theories and technologies.
  • Urban design should be carefully designed with consideration of spatial structure, cultural differences and functional requirements.


Although there are well-developed universal urban design guidelines, it should be applied to places, targeting the right solution for different conditions of cities with coherent disciplines. In order to tackle these problems, in-depth research on policies, spatial planning and engineering techniques are required.

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School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Telephone: 0191 208 6509