Asia Europe Journal

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 21–39 | Cite as

Comparing urban renewal in Barcelona and Seoul—urban management in conditions of competition among global cities

  • Matjaž UršičEmail author
  • Blaž KrižnikEmail author
Original Paper


Cities have become increasingly autonomous economic and political actors which actively respond to the pressures and opportunities of globalisation. Consequently, the urban management of any particular city is often based on the assumption that the city can improve its position against rival cities by efficiently managing its strategic resources and promoting its presumed advantages. Though such an approach to urban management may help cities to improve their global competitiveness and the quality of their residents’ everyday life, it can sometimes result in negative consequences at the local level, thus actually narrowing the development prospects of the cities in the end. This article discusses urban management against the backdrop of the competitive urban policy in Barcelona and Seoul, and compares the local consequences of urban renewal in both cities. Based on a comparison of the two cases of urban renewal, 22@ Activity District in Barcelona and the Cheonggyecheon restoration in Seoul, this article argues that, in conditions of competition among global cities, even very different approaches to urban management and urban renewal may result in similar consequences at the local level.


Urban Renewal Urban Policy City Government Global Competitiveness Urban Management 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank the Korea Foundation and European Cultural Foundation for the support during the research process.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Department of ArchitectureKwangwoon UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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