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2018 Grad Sungmoon Lim Wins Thesis Prize

Portrait of Sungmoon Lim on the Stanford Quad

Urban Studies alumna Sungmoon Lim '18 received the 7th annual Korea Program Prize for Writing in Korea Studies.

Courtesy of Sungmoon Lim

Sungmoon Lim, a member of the Urban Studies class of 2018, received the 7th annual Korea Program Prize for Writing in Korea Studies. The prize was awarded for her honors thesis, "Urban Design in the Age of Globalization: An Analysis of the Global Reception of Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon Stream Restoration Project." The thesis examines the impact of a major urban design project in Seoul on four other global cities: New York, London, Singapore, and Sydney. Lim found that "while globalization contributes to the spread of general urban
design theories, ... urban design concepts, once spread across borders, then become localized once again."

Professor Gi-Wook Shin, Lim's primary thesis adviser, wrote that Lim's work "is really original and ambitious," and called it "an outstanding comparative analysis—the first and the only study of its kind." He added that it is "simply an extraordinary work that is above and beyond what you would expect from an undergraduate thesis." Lim's secondary adviser, Urban Studies co-director Michael Kahan, added that Lim's work was evidence of the growing commitment in the Urban Studies program to understand cities in a global framework. "Sungmoon's excellent thesis," Kahan noted, "adds to our understanding of how cities are affected by globalization, and yet retain strong local cultures. It shows how an Urban Studies lens can help us better grasp how our world is changing." Read more coverage of Lim's award.