Informal settlements in Seoul, 2019: People’s Stories

Written by: Boram Kimhur
Published on: 26.07.2020

Image: © Boram Kimhur, 2019, informal settlements in Seoul

Boram Kimhur, as a member of the Architects for Society and People (ASP, former Community Architects Network in South Korea), carried a project “Informal Settlements in Seoul 2019: People’s Stories”, funded by the Beautiful Foundation. The project was to deliver the stories of people in informal settlements in Seoul.

In Seoul, there are still hidden informal settlements in the so-called Gangnam area, the wealthiest area in the city. The project aimed to capture people’s voices and stories about how they started living in the settlement from the very first, and why they prefer to reside there or why they cannot move out. The project was not merely to research about these questions. It was designed to build a stepping stone for follow up activities to support the people with finding alternative housing solutions. Through this project, the team has built a rapport and in-depth knowledge about the situations and needs of people.

The stories of people were consolidated as a book: its provisional version was published online (only in Korean for now). The final version will be published in late 2020. Some parts of the project output will be transferred to academic research paper. A follow-up project—

focusing on a legal consultation in collaboration with a law firm—is on the process as of June 2020.

Informal Settlements in Seoul 2019: People’s story (online book in provisional version, in Korean)

Project introduction (in Korean)