1st Edition

Waste and Urban Regeneration
An Urban Ecology of Seoul’s Nanjido Post-landfill Park

ISBN 9780367356408
Published November 27, 2020 by Routledge
230 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Waste and Urban Regeneration examines the Nanjido region of Seoul and its transformation from Nanjido Landfill to the World Cup Park, and its relation to the urban ecology within the context of the city’s urban development during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

The study analyses the urban ecological meanings of the site’s two distinct forms by consolidating them with the Lefebvrian urban theory and relational ecological theories. This book looks at environmental transformations and their link to South Korea’s political and economic changes; how Seoul City controlled waste populations, the borderline characterisations of the inhabited landfill and its community, the regeneration of the landfill into the post-landfill park and site-specific artworks which explored the conflict between the invisible presence of the landfill’s garbage and its history.

As one of the first accounts of a landfill and landfill-turned-park of South Korea, this study is a must-read for academics and researchers interested in waste management, ecology, landscape theory and history.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1. Transformations of Nanjido

1.1 Pre-landfill period (1945–1977): nature

Appropriation of natural environment

Idealisation of nature

1.2 Landfill period (1978–1992): waste

Post-industrial age and landfills of Seoul

Environmental conditions of Nanjido Landfill

Environmental and social ecologies of Nanjido Landfill

1.3 Post-landfill period (1993–present): regeneration

Post-landfill vision and the neoliberal economic turn

Nanjido Post-Landfill Park: cultural and environmental value creation

The Nanji Golf Course debate: ecology and class issues


Chapter 2. Sanitary Management in Post-war Seoul

2.1 Sanitation as morality and ideology

Sanitation as morality for industrial and military forces

Sanitation as anti-communist ideology

2.2 Control of garbage collectors: physical sanitary management

Ragpickers in post-war Seoul

Institutional control of garbage collectors

Market control of garbage collectors

2.3 DDT: symbolic sanitary management

The Korean War and DDT

A belief system of fumigation

2.4 Nanjido Landfill: spatial sanitary management

The waste management sites and waste itself

Fumes and borders


Chapter 3. Nanjido Landfill as Human Habitat

3.1 Housing in Nanjido Landfill

Self-help housing (1978-1984)

Collective housing complex (1984-2001)

3.2 Adequate and sustainable housing

Adequate housing

Sustainable housing

3.3 Garbage collecting in Najido landfill

Recycling: assimilation

Scavenging: disruption

3.4 Imaginaries of Nanjido Landfill

Fear and threat

Subversive zone


Chapter 4. From Landfill to Post-Landfill Park

4.1 The building of Nanjido Post-Landfill Park

Post-landfill plans

Case studies for the post-landfill park

4.2 Nanjido Landfill’s regeneration

Detoxification: leachate and gas treatments

Aestheticisation: deodorisation and planting

4.3 The global style of parks

US style and global style of parks

Nanjido Post-Landfill Park as a global style of parks

4.4 Global economy and environmentalism

Environmentalism in the global economic system of South Korea

The South Korean middle class, ‘the public’ and the environmental concern

Nanjido Post-Landfill Park for ‘the public’


Chapter 5. Art: Disruption of Nanjido Post-Landfill Park

5.1 Unease and placelessness

The sense of unease

Place and placelessness

5.2 Artistic engagement with the urban space

Documentary photographs on the landfill

Place and memory-image

5.3 Artistic exploration of Nanjido Post-Landfill Park

SeMA Nanji Residency

Site-specific art on Nanjido Post-Landfill Park: embodying the past-present



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Jeong Hye Kim is visiting professor of Seoul National University of Science and Technology with a primary research focus on architectural design and art in urban settings. Her subjects of research interest are the political and socio-economic relationship with urban environment, post-traumatic historical spaces, sense of place[less]ness and ecological equilibrium. Translations include Hal Foster’s The Art-Architecture Complex and Charles Jencks and Nathan Silver’s Adhocism.