Administrative integration between Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do (the new regional airport unites the people across both municipalities)
After more than four years, the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province and Daegu Metropolitan City Governments have settled on the new regional airport’s final location, and momentum from this crucial decision is driving a potential administrative integration between the two municipal municipalities. The issue became a subject of significant interest when Gyeongsangbuk-do Governor Lee Cheol-Woo said, “We must revitalize other regions across the country from the threat of serious decline stemming from more economic and social activities becoming concentrated in the Seoul and Gyeonggi regions” at the end of last year. Discussions were put off temporarily as Gyeongsangbuk-do and Daegu ed their discussions on finding a new site for the new regional airport. However, with that decision now ed, both municipal governments launched a public committee, featuring 30 experts on household affairs, on September 21 to debate the potential integration of the two administrations in earnest.
Daegu seceded from Gyeongsangbuk-do when it was promoted to a metropolitan city in 1981. Unfortunately, since its secession, both Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do have suffered from a prolonged slump in growth for more than a decade due to continued population decline and poor industrial perance. Continuing on their current paths, the two regions are at risk of dipping into a severe recession.
Population of 5.1 million, GRDP of KRW 165 trillion - Reborn as the third largest municipality in Korea
If combined, the Gyeongsangbuk-do and Daegu region is expected to become an ultra-expansive municipality with a population of 5.1 million. Moreover, the new regional airport along with the new port in Yeongil Bay are expected to develop the region into a popular gateway to destinations all across the globe. The integration of both administrations also eliminates the need for one region to battle the other for limited resources. Daegu will be able to on services, finance, medical care, education, and culture, while Gyeongsangbuk-do will be able to on manufacturing, culture, tourism, and bio-energy industries. In addition, the regional transportation network, currently er consideration as part of the new regional airport project, can be further enhanced in terms of its functionality if the two administrations merge moving forward.
Currently, a master plan for the administrative integration of Gyeongsangbuk-do and Daegu has already been drafted. However, there is a long way to go, including a referendum and the enactment of special laws to facilitate the integration. The new regional airport ed up a new chapter in the history of Gyeongsangbuk-do and Daegu. The integration of both administrations can put the final touches to that chapter and deliver a happy ending for the Gyeongsangbuk-do and Daegu regions.