Mythologizing a 'Zone City': Urban Fantasies of and in Songdo, South Korea
Posner, Simon Dennis
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Songdo is a city built within Koreas first Free Economic Zone (FEZ). The city has become imbued with three distinct yet interrelated fantasies a grand state project envisioned to guide the country towards modernity; a blank slate onto which an organized and efficient utopian community can be built; and an urban node in a frictionless world. In this thesis, I present an anthropology of and in the city by exploring the relations between the urban imagination of Songdo and particular groups in the city. I argue that Songdos fantasies shape the behaviours, perceptions, and material practices of people working and living in the city, who in turn interpret and act upon Songdos physical and symbolic spaces. I attempt to demonstrate that while Songdos mythologies and their concomitant practices link to global trends, the production and experiences of the city reflect a situated and locally embedded urban form.