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Polygence Scholar2023
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Yena Kong

Class of 2024Seoul, Seoul



  • "Regional Regeneration in South Korea" with mentor Magdalena (Sept. 3, 2023)

Project Portfolio

Regional Regeneration in South Korea

Started May 26, 2023

Abstract or project description

Why has the South Korean government spent over $215 billion over the past 15 years to improve the fertility rate? What does the 0.78% birth rate in 2022 really mean, and how might this affect other aspects of South Korea?

Recently, South Korea has been battling with the significant issue of plummeting birth rates. South Korea’s new identity as the country with the lowest birth rate in the world has caused its government to look for solutions and causes of this new alarming title. Additionally, the government is focused on remedying the effects of the low birth rate. One of the most significant effects being regional extinction- a recently coined term describing the phenomenon of a region going ‘extinct’ due to a lack of citizens (Last name, year).

What is regional regeneration in South Korea? What does regional regeneration mean and what is its main goal? How do communities work to promote regional regeneration? This paper will initially identify the presence of regional extinction as a problem. Then, I will be exploring what regional regeneration truly means through the analysis of case studies from 3 different countries experiencing regional extinction: Korea, Japan, and Rust Belt, located in the United States. Through case study analysis, I hope to investigate the impact culture has on regional regeneration methods. In other words, how different communities approach regional extinction.

Moreover, by examining the differences between regions in South Korea, I believe my research will yield conclusions as to what regional regeneration means for the country. My fieldwork will include interviews with leaders of the community as well as citizens who directly experience the effects of regional extinction. Through this work, I will present conclusions on the social aspect of regional extinction in South Korea.

Research, thus far, has shown efforts from the Korean government to promote regional regeneration. One example is creating activities in towns to present them as tourist attractions