Eminent Scholar at KyungHee University, Seoul

I’ve been nominated as Eminent Scholar by KyungHee University in recognition of my research, and will be visiting Seoul and the university a couple of times this year, once between 20 August and 9 September, and again between 11 October and mid-November. I look forward to many fruitful discussions about Korea/Asia’s speculative urbanisation, gentrification, the right to the city, and social justice, and to imagining alternative urbanism collectively.

앞으로 일 년 동안 (2017년 5월 – 2018년 4월) 경희대학교 석학 초빙제도를 통해 Eminent Scholar로서 활동합니다. 이를 위해 8월 20일부터 9월 9일까지, 그리고 10월 11일경부터 11월 중순까지 두 차례에 걸쳐 경희대학교를 방문, 공동연구와 대학원 강의 등을 수행할 예정입니다. 이 기회에 한국/아시아에서의 투기적 도시화, 젠트리피케이션, 도시권, 사회정의 등에 대해 많은 분들과 논의하고 대안적 도시에 대한 상상을 함께 할 수 있기를 기대합니다.

New blog piece: The Rio Olympic Games and Socio-spatial Injustice

Together with Michel Nicolau, who was a visiting fellow in my department with the financial support from the Urban Studies Foundation (International Fellowship), I have written a piece about the Rio Olympic Games, an assessment six months after its closing.

It’s available from the openDemocracy.net on the following link:



Rio helped to legitimate a discourse that states that in during extraordinary circumstances, it is fair to make huge transfers of wealth from public to private interests, from lower to upper classes, from the poor to the rich.

A neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro (Photographed by Hyun Shin in 2010)

A neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro (Photographed by Hyun Shin in 2010)

SNU Institute of East Asian Urban Research 서울대 SSK 동아시아 도시사업단

I have been part of this exciting research group since 2014 as part of the research project “Crisis and Transformation of East Asian Cities in the Age of Globalization” (In Korean: “세계화 시대 , 동아시아 도시의 위기와 전환”) funded by the Social Sciences Korea programme (2014-2017), National Research Foundation of Korea.

The project aims to “provide a more concrete understanding of Cold War developmental urbanization, the SSK Research Project on East Asian Cities attempts to explain the urbanization of South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China in terms of three elements that define the character of East Asian urban­ization: compression, exceptionality, and risk.” To see a brief summary of the project in English, click here.

The team’s Korean web site has been revamped recently to include a fuller list of team members and what they do. Click here to visit the staff page and find out their profiles.

제가 2014년부터 함께 하고 있는 서울대 SSK 동아시아 도시사업단의 웹페이지가 새롭게 단장을 마치고, 특히 프로젝트 참여 연구원들의 프로필을 새롭게 추가하였습니다. 자세한 내용은 해당 웹페이지를 참조하세요. 동아시아 도시사업단은 “세계화 시대, 동아시아 도시의 위기와 전환”이라는 SSK 중형 프로젝트를 수행하고 있으며, 2014-2017년 기간 동안 이라는 주제로 ‘압축공간, 예외공간, 위험경관’ 세 주제에 대한 연구를 진행하고 있습니다.

SSK 동아시아  도시연구단

SSK 동아시아 도시연구단

New book chapter on the fallacy of Songdo (Smart) City, South Korea

9780415745512Great to see the publication of my chapter “Envisioned by the state: Entrepreneurial urbanism and the making of Songdo City, South Korea” in this new edited volume Mega-urbanization in the Global South: Fast Cities and New Urban Utopias of the Postcolonial State, edited by . In: Ayona Datta and Abdul Shaban. I look forward to receiving its printed copy.

For viewing the Word version and its download, please click here.

Below is an excerpt from the chapter’s introduction:

So much has been said about Songdo City in recent years in both academic and practitioner circles. International media has also taken part to inflate the reputation of Songdo City, hailed initially as an eco-city, then as a ubiquitous city (or U-city) and now a smart city (Shwayri, 2013; Shin, Park and Sonn, forthcoming; Kim, 2010). The New York Times went even further to dub it “Korea’s High-Tech Utopia” (O’Connell, 2005). Sometimes its own promotional material puts all these together and simply refers to Songdo as an eco-friendly ubiquitous smart city (IFEZ Authority, 2007). Governments elsewhere see Songdo as a reference for their own mega-projects to create a brand new city from the scratch (see El Telégrafo, 2012 for example on the construction of Yachay City in Ecuador). However, Songdo has come to cater exclusively for the needs of domestic and global investors as well as the rich who have financial resources to grab upmarket real estate properties. It may indeed be an urban utopia, built on a reclaimed tabula rasa and promoted by the state, merging together technological innovation, fixed assets investment, real estate speculation and financialisation, for exclusive use of the rich and the powerful.



Urban Salon seminar on Cities of Spectacle and Mega-events, 23 February 2017, LSE

Urban Salon is an interdisciplinary London-based seminar series that I organise with a few other colleagues (see the web site here: http://theurbansalon.org). As part of the series, I am organising a seminar that examines the experiences of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, juxtaposed with the experiences of Asian mega-events (China, Korea and Japan). More details can be found below and on the above Urban Salon web site:


urban salon

Cities of Spectacle and Mega-events: Analysing the Symbolic Economy of Mega-events

Thursday 23 February 2017, 18.00 – 20.00
PAR.LG.03, Parish Building, London School of Economics and Political Science, London WC2A 2AE (view LSE Maps)

Brazil has recently hosted the two most important so-called mega-events, FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games. As all governments before, Brazilian officials have justified the hosting as an “opportunity” to “promote” Brazilian “image” and enhance its “status” in the global space. The caution quotes indicate that all these terms are taken for granted, without the necessary analysis. Bearing that in mind, the aim of this presentation will be as follows:

1)      to understand the condition of production and circulation of images in the mega-events. It will be shown how FIFA and IOC have recently enhanced efforts to control the production and circulation of images and to expand its zone of control, both in terms of physical space and media;
2)      to recognise the specificity of the Brazilian experience focusing on the “image” of Brazil the government tried to propose and the kind of symbolic production it implied. It will be shown that this “image” has been thought as a specific kind, dictated by the marketing and branding;
3)      to understand the disputes around this “image” and the conditions of this dispute according to the media-space of mega-events.

Discussants are to respond to the above talk, reflecting upon their own research on mega-events in Brazil, China, Korea and Japan.


  • Dr Michel Nicolau (Speaker; UNICAMP, Brazil)
  • Dr Jaeho Kang (Discussant; Centre for Media Studies, SOAS)
  • Dr Tomoko Tamari (Discussant; Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, Goldsmiths, University of London)
  • Dr Hyun Bang Shin (Chair and Discussant; Geography and Environment, LSE)

Leeds RC21 conference 2017: CFP – Sessions on “Gentrification and Statehood” and “Gentrification as Method”

As part of the forthcoming RC21 conference (11-13 September, Leeds, UK), I am organising, with Matthias Bernt (Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space) and Paul Waley (University of Leeds) back-to-back double sessions on gentrification, (1) Gentrification and Statehood and (2) Gentrification as Method. The session details are attached below.

Paper abstracts should be sent by e-mail to RC21@leeds.ac.uk AND to the relevant session organisers, indicating which session you are submitting to. Please consult the conference web site for more details (http://www.rc21.org/en/conferences/conference-2017/).

Deadline for Paper Abstract Submission: Friday 10 March 2017

Call for Papers

RC21 CONFERENCE 2017 “Rethinking Urban Global Justice”

11-13 September 2017 | University of Leeds, UK |http://www.rc21.org/en/conferences/conference-2017/

Gentrification Sub-session 1-1:
Gentrification and Statehood

The impact of public policies on the dynamics and patterns of gentrification has received increasing attention throughout the recent years. Yet, while it is generally acknowledged that the different institutional contexts have the potential to significantly “limit, alter, or impede gentrification” (Porter and Shaw 2009), the variegated geography of statehood have remained an under-explored issue in gentrification studies. In contrast with studies on “worlds of welfare capitalism” (Esping-Andersen 1990), on “housing systems” (Kemeny 1995 and 2005) or on “varieties of residential capitalism” (Schwarz and Seabrooke 2008), gentrification studies have been marked by a focus on the local (neighbourhood scale in particular) and hardly examined how different patterns of urban upgrading, redevelopment and displacement interplay with different variants of statehood. Divergent trajectories of institutionalizing property relations, tenure relations, and historico-geographical formulations of social justice concepts across the globe have thus remained out of sight. The shortfall extends to the examination of the role of the state and different constellations of private and public actors in producing gentrification.

This session aims to address this gap and invigorate the study of the relationship between gentrification and statehood. It calls for papers which study how reinvestment and displacement function in different institutional contexts, taking into consideration the political economic contexts that bring together divergent state and non-state actors. Both empirical and theoretical contributions are welcome.

Keywords: gentrification, statehood, institutionalisation, socio-political relations

Organisers and their Contact Details:

Dr. Matthias Bernt
Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS). Email: matthias.bernt@leibniz-irs.de

Dr. Hyun Bang Shin
Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science. Email: h.b.shin@lse.ac.uk


Gentrification Sub-session 1-2:
Gentrification as Method

Proposed for the RC21 CONFERENCE 2017 “Rethinking Urban Global Justice”

Gentrification is one of the few analytical frameworks in urban studies which ‘provides a critical edge and some theoretical coherence to physical and social change incorporating eviction, displacement, demolition and redevelopment” (Ley and Teo, 2014). Nevertheless, increasingly in recent years, it has also been subject to negation, deemed inapplicable outside the global North. It is sometimes argued that gentrification prohibits the possibility of multiple narratives of displacement and eviction. However, is this discussion an appropriate and justifiable way of advancing our production of knowledge? Instead of becoming ensnared in categorical debates on definitions of gentrification and its conceptualisation across space, the session aims to locate “gentrification as part of multiple urban processes at work” (Shin, Lees and López-Morales, 2016), understanding the working of gentrification and other urban processes from the perspective of relational and hierarchical space. Papers presented to this session are to engage with, or be related to, the following questions:

  • What does the use of a particular geographical scale mean for gentrification studies?
  • How does gentrification reconcile itself with other analytical frameworks (e.g. accumulation by dispossession, segregation)?
  • Where does ‘concept stretch’ come into play with gentrification?
  • Are we homogenising space to an extreme when discussing issues of displacement, dispossession and accumulation in terms of gentrification?
  • How do we create a healthier and more productive dialogue between gentrification and non-gentrification researchers, both of whom aim to attain social justice?
  • How can gentrification researchers best overcome the principal methodological problems they face?

The session calls for papers that address any or several of these questions. Both empirical and theoretical contributions are welcome.

Keywords: gentrification, production of knowledge, methods, conceptualisation

Organisers and their Contact Details:

Dr. Hyun Bang Shin
Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science. Email: h.b.shin@lse.ac.uk

Dr. Paul Waley
School of Geography, University of Leeds. Email: p.t.waley@leds.ac.uk


New special issue on ‘Developmentalist Urbanisation and Gentrification’ from Space and Society, a Korean academic journal

A quick announcement in Korean with regard to the publication of a journal special issue on “Developmentalist Urbanisation and Gentrification” guested edited by myself and published in Korean by the journal Space and Society.

공간과 사회 26권 3호 ‘발전주의 도시화와 젠트리피케이션’ 특집호가 얼마전 발간되었습니다. 특집호 제목은 “발전주의 도시화와 젠트리피케이션”입니다. 발간 논문 목록은 아래와 같습니다. 객원편집은 제가 하였지만, 원고를 기고해주시고 투고 원고 리뷰해주신 분들의 노력으로 가능한 특집호 입니다. 모두에게 감사드립니다. 전 과정에서 많은 격려와 도움 주신 InKwon Park 편집위원장님께도 감사드립니다.

이번 특집호에는 Takeout Drawing에서의 저항 경험을 분석한 두 개의 글이 실렸습니다. 객원편집위원을 비롯한 모든 필진들이 테이크아웃드로잉에 다양한 방식으로 함께 했었기에 어떤 의미에선 이번 특집호가 테이크아웃드로잉 헌정호라고 할 수도 있겠습니다.

특집호에 실린 모든 글들이 한국에서의 젠트리피케이션 저항 운동에 조금이라도 도움이 되기를 바랍니다. 주변에도 널리 소개해주시길 부탁드립니다.

논문을 원하시는 분들은 공간과 사회 온라인 사이트에서 (https://kaser.jams.or.kr) 원고 받으실 수 있지만, 접속이 어려우신 분들은 제게 또는 개별 필자에게 별도 메시지 주십시오. 그리고, 제 편집의 글은 아래 링크에서 다운 받으실 수 있습니다.

  • 신현방 (2016) 편집의 글: 발전주의 도시화와 젠트리피케이션, 그리고 저항의 연대. 공간과 사회 26(3): 5-14. URL: http://urbancommune.net/…/Shin-2016-발전주의도시화와젠트리피케이션_KCI_FI0…
  • 김지윤, 이선영 (2016) 도시형 재난과 문화적 저항: 테이크아웃드로잉의 안티-젠트리피케이션 운동을 중심으로. 공간과 사회 26(3): 15-41
  • Yoonai Han (2016) 도시공유재의 인클로저와 테이크아웃드로잉의 반란적 공유 실천 운동. 공간과 사회 26(3): 42-76
  • Hyunjoon Shin (2016) ‘청년’과 ‘동포’ 사이의 도시재생과 문화예술 구로의 산업적 젠트리피케이션/전치와 그 배후의 장소만들기. 공간과 사회 26(3): 77-114
테이크아웃드로잉, 2016년 어느 여름 (c) Hyun Bang Shin

테이크아웃드로잉, 2016년 어느 여름 (c) Hyun Bang Shin

Planetary Gentrification book talk at pro qm in Berlin, 14 October 2016

I am heading to take a part in the KOSMOS-Workshop “Universal Gentrification? Conceptional Challenges of Comparative Urbanism”” at Humboldt University in Berlin, organised by Dr Andrej Holm, and the first event scheduled will be the following book talk at a Berlin bookshop called “Pro qm”. This takes place on 14 October from 8.30 pm.

Address: Pro qm, Almstadtstraße 48-50, D-10119 Berlin


14. Oktober 2016 – 20:30

Planetary Gentrification

Book presentation & discussion with Loretta Lees, Hyun Bang Shin, Ernesto López-Morales and Andrej Holm
For the description of urban change processes Gentrification has not only developed to a popular keyword in Berlin. From Sao Paulo to Prague, from Goteborg to Johannesburg, from London to Bombay Gentrification-concepts are used to analyze revaluation and expulsion in urban quarters. Loretta Lees, Ernesto López-Morales, and Hyun Bang Shin recently published a comprehensive book on the globalised nature of gentrification. All authors will be present and look forward to the discussion on “Planetary Gentrification” in Berlin.
Loretta Lees,  Hyun Bang Shin, Ernesto López-Morales:
Planetary Gentrification
Cambridge: Polity Press 2016

The book presentation by Loretta Lees, Ernesto López-Morales, and Hyun Bang Shin is the public part of the KOSMOS-Workshop “Universal Gentrification? Conceptional Challenges of Comparative Urbanism” at Humboldt-University. The Workshop is funded by Future Concept resources of Humboldt University Berlin through the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal Government and its Federal States.

My first memory of David Harvey – How he shared his working draft with MSc students


David Harvey, 2000, Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development

I met David Harvey in person for the first time while auditing his course during my MSc study at the LSE in 1999/2000 academic year. I think the course was simply called “Historical Geographical Materialism” or something similar. It was one of the few courses that sounded anything like Marx at the LSE, and I was drawn towards it. After having had my several years in the private sector after my first degree, I was in thirst of input by progressive scholarship. I did not know David at the time, as I knew few geographers by then. It was a small seminar course, having only about 12-13 students, with discussions for two hours or so each week. Readings included his own work and the works of Gramsci, Lefebvre and more that I cannot remember. If my memory is correct, he used to occupy a small office where he held his office hours. Now that I think of it, it was too small a room for such a figure like David, equipped with fairly empty bookshelves, a desktop and a printer. It wasn’t filled with books, as I presume he was at the LSE at the time on a three-year stint and did not relocate completely. The office is what is numbered as S509 at present, and coincidentally, it happened to be my office during my first year or so as professor at LSE.

One day during the term, he came in with copies of handouts, and he told us it was a working draft of his new paper. I think he was inviting any comments from his students. The draft paper was entitled “Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development”. Another week or two later, he brought a thicker version of the same paper, revsied substantially but still a working version, and this time, its title read “Working Notes Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development”. While clearing an old ring binder from my MSc/PhD period, I came across with the paper copy again, and realised this draft actually was the basis for his 2006 Verso book Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development”, first published as Spaces of Neo-liberalization by Franz Steiner Verlag in 2005. As the course took place in the spring of 2000, it must have taken another 4-5 years for the paper to be substantially revised, perhaps presented at several academic occasions, before it came out as a book. The memory of him sharing his paper is still vividly within me, and I appreciated a distinguished professor like David willing to share unpolished version of his drafts and inviting postgraduate students to comment on them.

“Planetary Gentrification” authors-meet-Critics session at RGS-IBG annual conference 2016

PlanetaryGentrification-CoverVisualI am very much looking forward to this ‘authors-meet-critics’ session at this year’s RGS-IBG annual conference, featuring my co-authored book Planetary Gentrification.

The session is to be convened and chaired by Professor Ronan Paddision (University of Glasglow), and sees the contributions from three critics, Professor David Ley (The University of British Columbia), Dr Andy Merrifield and Dr Kate Maclean (Birkbeck, University of London). All three authors are also going to be present (Ernesto via Skype connection).

The session is sponsored by the journal Urban Studies, and is followed by a drink reception in the Drayson Room from 18.45.


235 Authors meet critics: Planetary gentrification
Convenor(s) Ronan Paddison (University of Glasgow, UK)
Chair(s) Ronan Paddison (University of Glasgow, UK)
Timetable Thursday 01 September 2016, Session 4 (16:50 – 18:30)
Room RGS-IBG Ondaatje Theatre
Session abstract At the beginning of the C21st proclamations rang out that gentrification had gone global, this book critically evaluates that assumption. Drawing on the ‘new’ comparative urbanism and writings on planetary urbanization the book argues that gentrification is one of the most significant and socially unjust processes affecting cities world-wide today. Looking beyond the usual gentrification suspects in Euro-America, towards ‘non-Western cities’ in the Global South and East, the authors undertake a much needed transurban learning underpinned by a critical political economy approach. The book shows that gentrification has unfolded at a planetary scale, but it has not assumed a North to South or West to East trajectory, it is much more complex than that. Rich with empirical detail, yet wide-ranging, Planetary Gentrification unhinges, unsettles, and provincializes Western notions of urban development. The book is invaluable to urban scholars interested in the Future of Cities and the production of a truly global urban studies, and to all those committed to social justice in cities. Sponsored by Urban Studies