Sustainability, Vol. 12, Pages 5705: The Impact of Population Characteristics and Government Budgets on the Sustainability of Public Buildings in Korea's Regional Cities

Public buildings, such as community centers, public libraries, police stations, and fire departments, reflect residents’ quality of life. In order to be sustainable, public buildings must reflect regional demographic characteristics and use financial resources effectively. Despite difficulties in tax revenues due to the country’s aging and decreasing population, as well as concerns regarding regional extinction, public buildings are being revitalized in Korea’s regional cities. Accordingly, this study analyzes the influence of changes in demographic characteristics—particularly in terms of population aging and decline—and regional finances on public buildings in regional cities in Korea. Results show that regions with a lower risk of population decline have a larger area of public buildings, confirming that public buildings reflect changes in population size and the provision of public services. By identifying the impacts of demographic and financial characteristics on public buildings, the findings of this study can facilitate the sustainability of public buildings in regional cities. Based on its findings, this study proposes that regions expand elderly welfare facilities in light of their changing demographic structure. This study’s results also underscore the need for the careful consideration of local finances and dependent funding when constructing public buildings.

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