Exploring neighborhood unit's planning elements and configuration methods in Seoul and Singapore from a walkability perspective

Jeeun Lee, Sohyun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This paper is to explore how the neighborhood-unit concept, which had been initially promoted by North America and the United Kingdom, was adopted and utilized in the Asian cities of high-density developments, such as Seoul and Singapore from a walkability perspective. Among various environmental elements of walkability in a given neighborhood unit, 10 planning elements, as well as their configuration methods, were drawn from the review of the existing studies, which became an analytical framework for this paper. The findings of the analysis are as follows. First, there were similarities, yet also marked distinctions between the cases of Seoul and Singapore, on the one hand, and those in North America and the UK on the other, with respect to the configuration methods, categorized into four groups of typologies: 'Neighborhood Size', 'Neighborhood Structure', 'Neighborhood Network', and 'Neighborhood Facilities'. The differences largely resulted from the high-density developments in Seoul and Singapore. In the years since the 1990s, however, when the concept of sustainable development was strengthened, the configuration methods, related to 'Neighborhood Structure' and to 'Neighborhood Facilities' in most cases, were enhanced to suit more neighborhood walking. The initial concept of the neighborhood unit was actively modified to accommodate the high-density urban situations in Seoul and Singapore, having both positive and negative impacts on neighborhood walkability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number988
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number4
StatePublished - 27 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: This research was supported by NRF (National Research Foundation of Korea) Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2016-Global Ph.D. Fellowship Program).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.


  • High-density development
  • Howard
  • Neighborhood unit planning
  • New town
  • Perry
  • Radburn
  • Sustainable development
  • Walkability
  • Walkable neighborhood


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