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The Power of Social Reforms and Urban Identity: An Experience in Urban Regeneration in Northeast Asia.

“Being a dream-catcher for cities nomads by moving in a rooftop loft from a small studio.”(Li Gen-Tzai, 2016)  A huge billboard ironically reflects Housing problems in Taipei. Same as every developed country, the extravagant housing prices, population ageing, lower birth rates, climates change are forcing people lives in dwelling environments.

Luckily, Peoples are gathering together trying to find the way out of growing Problems as we mentioned nowadays.  As an old saying goes, “Unity is the strength.”, in this topic, we are going to talk about how civics reforming and bringing about changes in the existing social relations, social values, false traditions, old superstitions and more in northeast Asia.

In Sungmisan maul (translates to "village"), a neighbourhood in northwest Seoul of about 700 families, residents whose felt unsatisfied with the materialistic and individualistic approach of the society, were finally decide to set out a Social Sustainability framework to facilitate community participation and compliment the “ideal living environment”.  Started out a childcare cooperative, a consumer cooperative and along the way it formed clubs for mutual interest, host regular concerts, held festivals, and theatrical events in the neighbourhood were all followed soon by the successful experience of sharing common values.

The village itself can be connoted a system based on participatory, bottom-up and multi-sector approaches.  Through stressing the autonomous decision making and the strength of interaction and interrelation, an urban context and identity have been embedded steadily among locality needs.

“Goodlife Makan”, unlike Sungmisan maul, is committed to resolve social bias and to improve the conditions of elders living alone or families and the community facing transitional challenges.  “At here, seniors share more than just the food on the plate. They share experiences, knowledge, space and kinship.  By building a sharing economy, we deliver more than just food, it also acts as a social glue for the seniors.”  CEO of Montfort Care, Mr.Samuel Ng said.

With all those necessary assistance and support within this inviting communal space, peoples can seamlessly interact with others beyond all backgrounds.  And, eventually, a social network is gradually component by communities, volunteers and people who participate.

Thus, once residents realize their capabilities to creates opportunities for living, the more avenues of social engagement could have happened.  That’s the power of local social connections.