The Korea Planning Association (KPA) has grown into one of the world’s leading academic organizations, boasting of over 60 years of history and 7,000 members. Without the tireless efforts of our advisors and members, KPA would not have become what it is today.
KPA is committed to promote the filed of planning, connecting researchers, practitioners, students and the government through various activities. Our International Journal of Urban Sciences (IJUS) has been included in the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), and the Journal of Korea Planning Association (JKPA)?an official journal of KPA published in Korean?is working in preparation for a SCOPUS listing. The spring and autumn annual conferences of KPA have become the largest academic events, with over 1,000 attendees. For the last two decades, “Korea City Awards” have been positioned as the most honorable awards in the field of urban planning, and “City Day” has become a popular event with participation by the government, public institutions, local governments, civic groups, and private associations.
Now, we are facing unprecedented changes. Technological innovations, triggered by the 4th Industrial Revolution, are dramatically transforming our everyday lives, as well as universities, the government, transportation and distribution industries, and production sites. During my tenure as the president, I will do my best to respond to these new challenges that our rapidly changing times pose, by focusing on the following priorities.
First, we will propose a new alternative for balanced national development. Parasite, which won four Academy Awards, highlighted the widening gap between classes in Korean society. New technological innovations lead to the shrinking of manufacturing and the decline of industrial cities. More than 50% of Koreans live in metropolitan areas. New growth engine businesses are concentrated in the centers of large cities. These changes cannot be denied as they are driven by the technological revolution. Therefore, we must understand the changes and create reasonable measures to deal with them. KPA will collaborate with the national government, local governments, public institutes, and research organizations to find solutions through the Balanced Development Forum.
Second, we will lead the effort to advance the planning system. Technological innovations and the resulting demographic changes also bring about major changes in the planning sector. Many cities and counties are concerned about significant population decline. We will be at the forefront of institutional improvement to implement new plans, including developing compact cities with strengthened core areas, restraining development of city outskirts, ensuring that the housing supply meets the needs of single-person households, and engaging in metropolitan urban redevelopment planning to address metropolitanization. At the same time, we will commit ourselves to enhancing the planning system by applying new innovative technologies, including the use of big data, to planning methodology. Third, we will facilitate innovation through the convergence of spatial planning. In addition to the traditional planning arease including housing and infrastructures, we need spatial planning to provide and manage jobs and their contents, as well as cultural and welfare services. We will take the lead in convergence urban planning research, which combines the policies of different ministries (e.g., corporate, science and technology, and cultural welfare policies) with projects and the platform of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
Fourth, I will make sure that KPA will be positioned as a specialized research institute for unification studies. No one can overemphasize the importance of preparing for the future of inter-Korean relations. We will nurture unification experts through the “National Land Unification Academy,” recruit new ideas through the “National Land Unification Contest,” visit new northern areas through the “Long March through the National Land for Unification,” and prepare for the publication of theories on land unification.
Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation comes from connecting.” It is my greatest hope that KPA makes another leap forward through academic collaboration with other planning societies, a technological alliance with the new industrial technology association, and policy convergence with other ministries.
For this vision to be realized, the first priority is to create a consensus among our members. One of the advisors at KPA gave me a word of wisdom. There is a Korean idiom meaning, “When one’s home is happy, all goes well.” I believe that when our members are happy, everything will go well for our association. I will work with the vice-chairmen and seek the support of the executives to make all our members happy; as we work together, the association will thrive.
The 26th President of Korea Planning Association