Forum – January 22, 2016

Yung-Ju Kim

Tracing the Transformation of Pyeongchang

Pyeongchang was little known to the world until its recent, successful bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. Located in one of the least developed provinces in South Korea, hosting the world’s most celebrated sports event provides the much desired impetus for injecting new employment opportunities, updates to infrastructure, and improvements in quality of life.

Lately, however, the Olympic franchise has been mired in controversy with many closely evaluating the impacts of the Olympic related development and questioning who the true beneficiaries are. The critics claim that the private investors’ influence results in massive over-construction doomed for obsolescence while the host city hopes to spur its economy through increased tourism and improved infrastructure. Pyeongchang is cautiously navigating through these challenges while under the close scrutiny of the International Olympic Committee, its residents, and the rest of the world.

In this Fulbright forum, Yung-Ju Kim will share the current findings of her research through three discussion points.
• The region’s background will provide a framework for better understanding its culture and landscape.
• Digital maps and photographs will help identify and assess the sites under transition by the Olympic development.
• The interviews of the regional planners, past and current Korean Olympic Planning Committee members, and the residents of Pyeongchang will shed a light on their perspectives in how they believe the Winter Olympics development will transform the region and its future.

Yung-Ju Kim is a graduate student from The University of Texas at Austin where she has earned both a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from McCombs School of Business and a Master of Architecture degree from School of Architecture. Upon completion of her Fulbright research, she plans to complete a Master of Science in Historic Preservation at her alma mater.