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Thursday, April 21, 2005

construction in Gwanak-gu during "the IMF" and after

Number of building permits in Gwanak-gu by year:
       units     m2
1997 533 341 349
1998 127 99 695
1999 142 108 665
2000 405 361 593
2001 1357 810 482
2002 1626 960 019
2003 914 740 150
Source: Gwanak-gu Statistical Yearbook (hwp file).

This is perhaps the most dramatic piece of statistic I've seen about the economic crisis of the late 1990s. This should pretty much tell what it's been like to be a day laborer in construction or an owner of a construction company in '98 and '99. This also gives some perspective to what the neighborhood people referred to with terms like "wôllum bum" (studio apartment boom) after year 2000; restaurant keepers catering construction sites were busy.

People at House of Friendship (Sillim 2-dong, Gwanak-gu) prepare for a construction site delivery. (c)AL, June 11, 2002


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