Pre-88 Olympic / 1976-1986 / Part V: Land Readjustment Program – the Win-win Solution for the Government and the Landowners

It was unavoidable to take over the rights of properties from the original owners of the targeted land and readjust the shape of land parcels when the government was going to build the roads and bridges and develop the southern area of the river. The legal term “Land Readjustment” firstly appeared in the Urban Planning Act enacted in 1962 and then being one of the most important tools used in the redevelopment in Seoul [1].

Generally, redevelopment requires huge financial resources from the central or local government. However, it was a wise strategy by the government to secure a budget for the plans and attract urban developments through the Land Parcel Readjustment Program. The program suggests that when lands are contributed to the government for public facilities or infrastructure, the original landowner will be given back a portion of land near its original location while what remains of the lands were used for the construction projects [2]. Through this program, the land necessary for building highways, roads, and expressways were secured. Lots of lands were obtained and multipurpose buildings were able to be built in a higher density along new major thoroughfares and attract investment from the private sector. Each plot became more valuable and yielded more income. It was a win-win situation for both the government and the property owners.

Nevertheless, there are still some controversial issues since there cannot be a 100 percent agreement from all the owners in most cases. The designation allowed Land Readjustment to be enforced with super-majority agreement i.e., it needs at least more than half of the owners to agree and involving two thirds or more of the total land area.

In the case of Gangnam, the project was certainly beneficial to the landowners. The original landowners agreed to receive only 50% of the original land size because the land price sky-rocketed about 7 to 10 times [1]. Jamsil was designated to transform into a high-density apartment district and it took only 14 years to achieve the agreement [3]. It was believed that with an increased understanding of the benefits and costs, the opposing citizens would become less resistant to the projects.



  1. Kang, M. (2016). Seoul Urban Land Supply and Land Readjustment with Gangnam Development Case. Seoul Solution.
  2. Yi, C., Lee, C., & Jung, Y.-J. (2017). Developing Transportation in Seoul: Planning Implications on Jakarta, Manila, and Ho Chi Minh City. The Seoul Institute.
  3. United Nations Human Settlements Programme. (2019). Land Readjustment in the Republic of Korea. UN-Habitat.


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