Dr Jung Won Son

UCL Home

The Bartlett School of Planning is a world centre for learning and research about the form, planning, design and management of cities. Our location, history and expertise have made our programmes and research among the most stimulating and sought-after in the field of planning. We are part of The Bartlett: UCL's global faculty of the built environment.



He joined Bartlett School of Planning in 2006. Before that, he taught in the Department of Geography and Environment at LSE. He also held part-time posts at Jungbu University in South Korea, at the Korean Research Institute for Local Administration, at the Korean Appraisal Research Institute and at the Southern California Association of Governments. He received his Ph.D. degree in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and his MSc. and BSc. degrees from Seoul National University.

Research Summary

Dr. Sonn's research is focused on two themes within the regional economic development realm: 1) the urban and regional dimension of technological knowledge production and 2) political analysis of regional economic planning. The geographical focuses of his research are the U.S., South Korea and China. Funded projects include temporal changes of localised knowledge spillovers in the U.S. (funded by the Benjamin Stevens Fellowship of North American Association of Regional Science), the emergence of a metropolitan knowledge cluster (funded by the Leverhulme Trust), a comparative study of innovative capacities between the Seoul metropolitan area and the Southeast region (funded by the Asian Institute for Regional Innovation), creative centres as a new orthodoxy in Chinese urban development (funded by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and Localised knowledge spillovers and regional absorptive capacity (funded by European Commission through Marie Curie Fellowship).

Research outputs

Bureaucratic Rationale and Use of an Academic Concept in Policy-Making: The Rise and Fall of the Regional Innovation System in South Korea 2016 Sonn JW,Kang H
The emergence of a multiscalar growth regime and scalar tension: the politics of urban development in Songdo New City, South Korea 2015 Shin H,Park SH,Sonn JW
Heterogeneity as the source of the state's resilience: the case of spatial planning under state-led neoliberalization in South Korea 2015 Sonn JW,Lee D
South Korea's Saemaul (New Village) movement: an organisational technology for the production of developmentalist subjects 2013 Sonn JW,Gimm D
Revisiting the Branch Plant Syndrome: Review of Literature on Foreign Direct Investment and Regional Development in Western Advanced Economies 2012 Sonn JW,Lee D
The Increasing Importance of Agglomeration Economies Hidden behind Convergence: Geography of Knowledge Production 2011 Sonn JW,Park IK
Contesting State Rescaling: An Analysis of the South Korean State's Discursive Strategy against Devolution 2010 Sonn JW
The increasing importance of geographical proximity in knowledge production: an analysis of US patent citations, 1975 � 1997 2008 Sonn JW,Storper M
A brief examination of the 'growth pole' potential of New Towns 2007 Gallent N,Sonn JW
Strategies for Decentralisation, Devolution, Balanced Spatial Development (Ⅲ) 2007 Kim S,Kim H,Oh E,Sonn J,Gallent N,Demaziere C
1, 2 next

Research activities

Political Economy of Planning in South Korea
Political economy of urban development in China
Urban and Regional Dimensions of Knowledge Production