Pyongyang: City Of North Korea

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The capital of North Korea, Pyongyang is a city that went through a series of political, economic and social change over the 20th century. Pyongyang’s first major change was in its urban spatial structure in the 1930s when the city was under Japan’s rule. The city at the time resembled a capitalist city model which promoted commercial and industrial development. However, the city’s model completely transformed in 1953, after the Korean war. The Soviet Union introduced socialist ideals to North Korea and they were applied in the planning of Pyongyang. Many political and symbolic functions were incorporated into the reconstruction of the city. In addition, the first premier of North Korea, Kim Il-Sung, implemented a “closed door policy” into …show more content…
In this time period, Imperial Japan made endeavors to expand their influence across eastern Asia. When North Korea was colonized, Pyongyang served as a military hub for the Japanese army. Pyongyang underwent a modernization period, many of the city’s functions were highly integrated (Jeong, Lee, Ban, 2015). High concentrations of public and commercial institutions were built on main streets west of the Taedong River, forming the central business district of Pyongyang. There is also a bridge that connected the east and west side of the Taedong River. This bridge enabled access between commercial and industrial districts. In addition to Pyongyang’s city model, a railway was constructed for the Japanese army to expand into Manchuria. Industries that relied on coal and agricultural products were built along the railway. The railway connected the military facilities with industrial districts east of the Taedong River, (see Figure 1 in the Appendix). Pyongyang’s current city model was favourable for commercial development due to its high level of integration in the city. However, such high integration would be problematic to a city with a growing population. Heavy traffic congestion and longer commute distance are such problems that occur in cities with a monocentric model, (Pyongyang during Japanese colonialization). Another problem of Pyongyang in this era was a …show more content…
The introduction of exchange markets was the first step in further developing North Korea’s capital. By expanding the city’s globalized markets, Pyongyang’s economy can recover from its recession from the 1970s. To further promote Pyongyang’s economic growth, the state should allocate less money into military development and have commercial production as its focal point. Pyongyang’s urban spatial structure and symbolic features provide opportunities for the city to prosper again. As seen in the Chomilla movement, maintaining symbolic functions in the city is key for economic and social growth. This feature of the Pyongyang unites people to strive for a greater cause of growing their city economically. With an adjustment to the city’s governance and strict policies towards economic and social factors, Pyongyang can become a city that can achieve a robust economy and social realm once

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