The flight of Icarus? Incheon's transformation from port gateway to global city

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July 5, 2012

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César Ducruet et al., « The flight of Icarus? Incheon's transformation from port gateway to global city », HAL-SHS : géographie, ID : 10670/1.ijj91r


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This chapter examines the relationship between freight and urban development in the case of the South Korean city of Incheon. Functionally linked to the capital Seoul as main gateway of the Gyeongin corridor, home to a major seaport (second after Busan) and new international airport, the local and national government have been especially aggressive in promoting all modes of freight transportation and logistics activity, as well as free economic zones, notably based on the "Pentaport" concept. The case of Incheon thus provides a site for exploring how (and with what consequences) cities in export-oriented Asian nations have gone about planning for heightened and elaborated flows of goods. Furthermore, it explores how logistic activities co-exist with the ambitions of Incheon - and South Korea as a whole - of becoming a Northeast Asia's knowledge and business hub. In light of the multiplication of other projects nationally and in Asia, and of the competition from Chinese manufacturers and transportation providers, this case provides some insights into what trends may emerge in the future.

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