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)

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


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.

How are we to overcome ‘gentrification’ as urban disaster?

A forum was held in Seoul on 27 May 2016 to discuss anti-gentrification strategies and legislation, organised by one of the district governments in Seoul. I was not able to accept the invitation to attend and give a talk due to schedule conflict, but wrote a paper “How are we to overcome gentrification as urban disaster?” to contribute to the forum. The link below will take you to the paper (in Korean).

2016 Anti-Gentrification Seongdong Forum지난 5월 27일 서울 성동구청에서 “젠트리피케이션 방지와 지속가능 도시재생을 위한 MOU 체결 및 포럼”을 주최하였습니다. 37개 지자체가 포럼에 앞서 협약식을 체결하고, 이어진 포럼에선 여러 의미있는 논의가 기획되었는데, 아쉽게도 이번엔 초청에 응하지 못하고 대신 특별기고문을 포럼 자료집에 수록하였습니다. 제 글 서론은 아래 참조하시고, 전체 글은 아래 링크에서 다운 받으실 수 있습니다.


경향신문: “‘‪#‎젠트리피케이션 방지’ 37개 지자체 손잡았다” https://t.co/GwbllPDVLt


젠트리피케이션이라는 ‘재난’, 어떻게 극복할 수 있을 것인가?

젠트리피케이션은 임대료나 지가 상승을 노리고 건물과 토지의 용도 변경이 이루어지고, 이 과정에서 기존 사용자가 내몰리는 도시 과정을 지칭합니다. 이러한 과정은 보통 물리적 환경의 변화를 동반합니다. 상업지역의 경우 더 높은 지불능력을 가진 소비자 위주로 업종 변화가 이루어지곤 하는데, 이는 종종 프랜차이즈점과 명품가게 등의 입점으로 이어지고, 이 과정에서 다양성이 감소, 획일화가 이루어지며 결과적으로 타지역과의 차별성이 없어져 상권 축소의 전주곡이 되곤 합니다. 주거지역의 경우, 전월세 임대료가 상승하는 과정에서 저소득층이 밀려나는 현상, 그리고 개발수익을 위한 재건축, 재개발로 인해 기존 주민 대다수가 쫓겨나고 중산층 등 소득상위계층으로 대체되는 과정이 젠트리피케이션에 포함됩니다. 이 역시 지역의 다양성을 파괴하는데 기여하고, 지역개발이 지역주민을 위한 것이라기 보다는 외지인을 위한 개발이 되는 문제점을 낳습니다.

최근까지 건물주와의 갈등으로 강제 퇴거 위기를 겪었던 이태원 소재 까페겸 미술관 ‘테이크아웃드로잉’의 운영진은 자신들이 겪었던 고난의 시기를 ‘재난’이라고 표현했습니다. 천재지변과 같이 당사자의 의지를 벗어난 불가항력적인 힘으로 인해 삶의 공간을 잃고, 생계수단을 잃는 것을 재난이라 지칭하고 그 처지에 놓인 사람들을 이재민이라고 표현한다면, 젠트리피케이션은 말 그대로 재난이고, 그 과정에서 축출된 사람들은 이재민이라고 할 수 있다는 문제의식에서 비롯된 표현이었습니다. 천재지변으로 인한 이재민을 위해서는 사회 각계각층에서 곧잘 의연금을 모으고 정부 차원의 특별보호대책을 수립하지만, 젠트리피케이션으로 인해 생계와 삶의 터전에서 밀려나는 우리의 이웃들은 이재민과 같은 보호를 받지 못하는 것이 우리 도시의 현실입니다.

어느 시민단체 보고에 따르면 1983년부터 1988년 사이 서울에서 재개발 사업으로 인해 쫓겨날 처지를 경험한 주민숫자가 72만명에 이르렀다고 합니다. 1983년 당시 서울시민의 13% 가까운 대규모였습니다. 최근 들어서는 소득이 불안정하거나 미미한 문화예술가 등이 이 대열에 합류하였습니다. 홍대 인근 지역처럼, 인디밴드와 예술가들이 모여 동네가 유명세를 타다보니 토지건물가격이 급등하고, 막상 그 동네를 일궜던 문화예술가들은 주변으로 흩어졌지요. 이번 기고글에서는 이러한 젠트리피케이션을 저지하기 위해 어떤 정책을 수립해야 할 지, 지자체에서 우선 고려해야할 정책적 시각은 무엇인지를 제언하고자 합니다.

(나머지 글은 Shin-2016-Gentrification-SeongdongForum 참조하세요)

[Conference] Global Cities and Urban Studies: Korea in Comparative Perspective

Below is a call for papers forwarded upon request from the conference organiser. This may interest colleagues studying urban issues related to Korea. Please see below. Abstract submission by 5th May 2016.


Call for Papers

Global Cities and Urban Studies: Korea in Comparative Perspective

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, 16-18 June 2016

Over half of the world’s population lives in cities and the need for academic research of the changing life in urban settings around the world is growing rapidly. The old metropolises are transforming into Global Cities, and are often assumed to be places for political development, sites of artistic and scientific creativity, and melting pots of ethnic and cultural diversity. Larger cities are competing to become attractive and dynamic centers of regions crossing national borders. The Asia Research Initiative (ARI) and the Department of International Relations (IR) at Central European University (CEU) are pleased to announce the conference ‘Global Cities and Urban studies: Korea in Comparative Perspective’. The event is hosted by Central European University and will take place in Budapest (Hungary) on 16-18 June 2016. The event is supported by Korea Foundation and is part of the KF Global E-school in Eurasia, a project aimed at developing a multi-university and multi-platform online real-time curriculum in Korean Studies. Central European University is the first European university to host a Global E-School, which brings together 20 universities in 14 countries in Europe and Asia.

Possible thematic areas to be covered during the conference include: Continue reading

Book Launch | Planetary Gentrification, 16 March 2016, LSE

Very much looking forward to the launch of my latest book Planetary Gentrification (2016, Polity Press) with Loretta Lees and Ernesto López-Morales. Reblogged from http://www.theurbansalon.org/index.php?page=3.1.0


16 March 2016 // Next Urban Salon seminar

Book Launch: Planetary Gentrification (2016, Polity Press)

To celebrate the launch of a new book Planetary Gentrification by Loretta Lees, Hyun Bang Shin and Ernesto Lopez-Morales, join us on the evening of Wednesday 16 March for a special launch event at LSE.

Please register on Eventbrite before 29th February (or until places are filled).

Date and Time: 16 March 2016, 17.30 – 20.00
Venue: Room PAR.LG.03, Parish Building (via North Entrance), LSE (see LSE Maps)

Authors: Loretta Lees (University of Leicester), Hyun Bang Shin (LSE) and Ernesto Lopez-Morales (University of Chile, Santiago)

Discussants: Fulong Wu (UCL), Andrew Harris (UCL) and Alex Loftus (KCL)

Supported by:
Department of Geography and Environment, LSE;
Department of Geography, University of Leicester;
CITY: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action

PlanetaryGentrification-CoverVisualBook description

This is the first book in Polity’s new ‘Urban Futures’ series.

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, proclamations rang out that gentrification had gone global. But what do we mean by ‘gentrification’ today? How can we compare ‘gentrification’ in New York and London with that in Shanghai, Johannesburg, Mumbai and Rio de Janeiro? This book argues that gentrification is one of the most significant and socially unjust processes affecting cities worldwide today, and one that demands renewed critical assessment.

Drawing on the ‘new’ comparative urbanism and writings on planetary urbanization, the authors undertake a much-needed transurban analysis underpinned by a critical political economy approach. Looking beyond the usual gentrification suspects in Europe and North America to non-Western cases, from slum gentrification to mega-displacement, they show that gentrification has unfolded at a planetary scale, but it has not assumed a North to South or West to East trajectory the story is much more complex than that.

Rich with empirical detail, yet wide-ranging, Planetary Gentrification unhinges, unsettles and provincializes Western notions of urban development. It will be invaluable to students and scholars interested in the future of cities and the production of a truly global urban studies, and equally importantly to all those committed to social justice in cities.

Urban Studies Foundation announces 2016 International Fellowship programme

The Urban Studies Foundation that runs the journal Urban Studies has announced the next round of our International Fellowship programme.  The closing date for applications is 29 April 2016. Please feel free to widely circulate this information to colleagues or postdoctoral students who may find it of interest.

International Fellowship for Early to Mid-Career Urban Scholars from the Global South

Applications are invited for an International Fellowship for urban scholars on any theme pertinent to a better understanding of urban realities in the global south funded by the Urban Studies Foundation.  The Fellowship covers the costs of a sabbatical period at a university of the candidate’s choice in the global north for the purpose of writing up the candidate’s existing research findings in the form of publishable articles or a book under the guidance of a chosen mentor in their field of study.  Funding is available for a period ranging between 3-9 months.

Further details of the programme and an application form are available on their website at http://www.urbanstudiesfoundation.org.


Bangkok Edge festival, 13-14 February 2016

This weekend in Bangkok, Thailand sees the opening of the city’s first ideas festival organised by River Books (a leading Thai and UK publishing house) and Chakrabongse Villas together with Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and Museum Siam. I am happy to be invited to take part in a couple of panels, one on What is the ‘New Asia’? and the other on Gentrification: who benefits. Below is the organiser’s introduction.

River Books (a leading Thai and UK publishing house), Chakrabongse VillasBangkok Metropolitan Administration and Museum Siam present the debut of Bangkok Edge Festival, Bangkok’s first ideas festival. The festival, set to be the premier cultural event in the heart of old Bangkok, will offer thought-provoking discussions, stimulating entertainments and lively workshops for people of all ages. It will provide a weekend of literature, film, photography, music, dances, talks, workshops and performances. It will be an outstanding opportunity for audiences to experience high level thought and entertainment, unlike anything that has been available in Bangkok thus far. https://www.facebook.com/bangkokedge/

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