Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Park, Jungseop (2019). A Study on the Reassessment of Buffer Zone Management Policy in South Korea (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


In 2000, the South Korean government set up buffer zone system for preserve nationally and locally designated cultural and natural heritage. Even though it effectively preserved historic resources against construction activities, some criticism, such as building height regulations around some types of cultural heritage which does not contain any visible historic resources on the ground, are generated.

Regarding the criticism above, this study focused on the assessment the necessity of building height regulations around the “invisible” cultural heritage. A comparative study of buffer zone policy – UNESCO, U.S. and France - is discussed in the first part of the study. Cases of the World Heritage Sites of the UNESCO and France tells that buffer zone management has been considered as one of the crucial parts of cultural heritage management. The U.S. does not require buffer zone for historic resources, but the NHPA section 106 review, by defining APE (Areas of Potential Effect), controls construction activities that is harmful for the preservation of historic resources. The second part introduces South Korean buffer zone (HCEPA: Historic and Cultural Preservation Area) policy. After the introduction in 2000, the HCEPA policy has been improved and developed in a way to mitigate the interests of the two major stakeholder groups: development part and preservation part. The last part assesses the necessity of building height regulations for “invisible” cultural heritage, by evaluating the degree of satisfaction of the two major stakeholders – applicants and reviewers, based on the analysis of building variance of State-designated cultural heritage in South Korea for 9 years (2007-2014). The result tells that the applicant group shows strong dissatisfaction on building height regulation, whereas the reviewers do not.


buffer zone, South Korea preservation system, World Heritage Site, section 106, building variance



Date Posted: 03 June 2019