English III 2021

City Network


In 1960, there were 27 cities in Korea: Seoul, Incheon, and Suwon in Gyeonggi-do, Chuncheon, Wonju, Gangneung in Gangwon-do, Cheongju and Chungju in Chungcheongbuk-do, Daejeon in Chungcheongnam-do, Jeonju, Gunsan, and Iri in Jeollabuk-do, Gwangju, Mokpo, Yeosu, and Suncheon in Jeollanam-do, Daegu, Pohang, Gimcheon, and Gyeongju in Gyeongsangbuk-do, Busan, Masan, Jinju, Chungmu, Jinhae, and Samcheonpo Gyeongsangnam-do, Jeju in Jeju-do. These cities were formed along with the networks of railways and ports, and 11 were already cities in 1940. In 1960, the urban population reached 6,124,000, 24.5% of the national population of 25 million people.

In 1990, the number of cities increased to 70, including one special city (Seoul) and five direct-controlled municipalities (Busan, Daegu, Incheon, Gwangju, and Daejeon). Between 1960 and 1990, little change was made in the railway network, while the length of highways and paved national roads, which connect cities, increased significantly. The roads, which were 27,169 km in 1960, more than doubled to 56,714 km in 1990. The highways, which began construction in the late 1960s, nearly tripled from 550.9 km in 1970 to 1,550.7 km in 1990.

The road-oriented urban structure has been further strengthened since the 1990s. The length of roads became 88,775 km in 2000, 105,565 km in 2010, and 112,977 km in 2020. The length of expressways also reached 4,848 km in 2020, nearly three times in 1990. The proportion of highways among road transport in large cities is increasing, such as the increase in the number of outer ring expressways connecting the outskirts of the metropolitan area. The proportion of highways among all roads also increased from 2.4% in 2000 to 4.3% in 2020.