Hope and reality of new towns under greenbelt regulation: The case of self-containment or transit-oriented metropolises of the first-generation new towns in the Seoul Metropolitan Area, South Korea

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - mass transit, land use - impacts, land use - planning, land use - transit oriented development


New town, Self-containment, Greenbelt, Transit-oriented development, Seoul metropolitan area


A new town's self-containment under greenbelt regulations is a planner's hope modelled after Howard's historical proposal. A planner chooses whether to increase the new town's size to improve its self-containment or to form satellite-city networks. If the hope is an unattainable goal, a planner in reality should consider mass-transit connection with existing urban centres. The first-generation new towns in Korea can provide an important lesson as they can be categorised into large-sized self-containment towns and mid-sized networked towns, both of which followed transit-oriented developments. By reviewing the historical background and using multilevel multinomial logistic analysis of commuting data, this study confirmed the following results. First, the commuting rate to Seoul from the larger two new towns is no better than from the other three mid-sized towns. Second, networked new towns with the surrounding satellite cities promoted commutes to the periphery, but the rate of automobile usage is high. Finally, as the government invested in improvements of the transit connections, all five new towns achieved the goal of being sustainable regarding transit use. In the automobile age, a planner building a new town under urban containment regulations should embrace the difficulties of achieving a metropolis that is both self-contained and transit-oriented.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.