New publication: Introduction to a special issue on Latin American gentrifications

Finally, it’s with great pleasure to be able to announce the forthcoming special issue on Latin American gentrifications. This is part of the collective project that I have been working on with Loretta Lees and Ernesto López-Morales. Previous outputs included a co-edited volume Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement, a co-authored monograph Planetary Gentrification, and a special issue from Urban Studies “Locating gentrification in the Global East“. The forthcoming special issue from the journal Urban Geography marks the conclusion of our project, and the following is the co-authored introduction to the special issue:

López-Morales, E., Shin, H.B. and Lees, L. (2016) Introduction: Latin American gentrifications. Urban Geography. DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2016.1200335
ABSTRACT
Currently, Latin American cities are seeing simultaneous processes of reinvestment and redevelopment in their historic central areas. These are not just mega-scale interventions like Porto Maravilha in Rio or Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires or the luxury renovations seen in Santa Fé or Nueva Polanco in Mexico City, they also include state-led, piecemeal, high-rise interventions in Santiago, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Panamá and Bogotá, all of which are causing the displacement of original populations and thus are forms of gentrification. Until very recently, these processes have been under-conceptualized and little critiqued in Latin America, but they deserve careful scrutiny, along with new forms of neighbourhood organization, activism and resistance. In this introduction, we begin that task, drawing on the work begun in an Urban Studies Foundation-funded workshop on Global Gentrification held in Santiago, Chile in 2012. Our aim is not just to understand these urban changes and conflicts as gentrification, but to empirically test the applicability of a generic understanding of gentrification beyond the usual narratives of/from the global North. From this investigation, we hope to nurture new critical narratives, to engage sensitively with indigenous theoretical narratives and to understand the dialectical interplay between state policies, financial markets, local politics and people. The papers in this special issue deal with the core issues of state power and urban policies (exerted at metropolitan and neighbourhood scales), the enormous influx of financial investment in derelict neighbourhoods that produces exclusion and segregation, the significant loss of urban heritage from rapidly “renewing” neighbourhoods and the institutional arrangements that can enable anti-displacement activism and self-managed social housing production.

The rest of the papers in this special issue are as follows:

A short column in Korean on Gentrification: Whose City?

Having heard about a talk that I gave at The Hope Institute (see the summary of the talk here; also my contribution to The Hope Institute blog here), an editor of a magazine called Monthly Coffee asked me if it’s alright for them to publish a one-page summary of my talk. Then, I literally re-wrote it, and it’s out now as shown in the attached JPG file. Come to think of it, given the preponderance of instances of commercial gentrification affecting a number of small cafes and art spaces in Seoul, I would have given a ‘lighter touch’ and a different take on the column if I were given more time. In the column, I tried to emphasise the importance for all citizens to realise that gentrification is non-discriminatory for most citizens, and that most of us are compelled to live a life of nomads (as displacees and being under constant displacement pressure) under gentrification as urban disaster. The nomad and disaster analogies come from my earlier encounters with TakeoutDrawing in Itaewon, Seoul, which has been launching an inspirational fight against its landlord (Psy, the pop singer) to resist displacement pressure.

046 커피칼럼.indd

Invited talk at CKS SOAS | Developmental Urbanisation and the Genealogy of Urban Rights in South Korea

On 26 February 2016, I am giving an invited talk at the Centre of Korean Studies, SOAS. It will be interesting to present my on-going work in front of an audience that has primary interests in Korean affairs. More details about the talk can be found below. The Centre also hosts a number of interesting Korea-related seminars each year, so it’s worth bookmarking the page and check it out.


 

CENTRE OF KOREAN STUDIES

Developmental Urbanisation and the Genealogy of Urban Rights in South Korea

URL: https://www.soas.ac.uk/koreanstudies/events/seminars/26feb2016-developmental-urbanisation-and-the-genealogy-of-urban-rights-in-south-korea.html

Dr. Hyun Bang Shin

Date and Time: 26 February 2016, 5:15 – 7.00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B102

Type of Event: Seminar

Series: CKS Seminar Programme

Abstract

In this paper, I examine the case of urban protesters against forced eviction in Seoul from the 1960s, and discuss the evolving nature of rights claims that were put forward by protesters against urban redevelopment projects in times of condensed and highly speculative urbanisation in South Korea. I make use of the collection of protesters’ pamphlets compiled by an influential civic research organisation in Seoul, and of on- and off-line archives, photographic images of protests against eviction, and my own interviews with former and current housing activists and evictees in Seoul. By adopting a strategic-relational perspective that pays a particular attention to the struggles among socio-political actors, I aim to understand particular notions of urban rights adopted by protesters against eviction due to urban redevelopment projects, and scrutinise how their rights claims have evolved over time. Such an understanding is expected to shed light on enhancing our understanding on the question of displacement, urban rights, and urban social movements to bring about alternatives to speculative urbanisation in South Korea as well as other economies that share similar trajectories of urbanisation and accumulation.

Shin-2016-SOAS

Publication of a journal special issue on Locating Gentrification in the Global East

USJ-53-3-2016I am delighted to see the publication of the following special issue on Locating Gentrification in the Global East from Urban Studies as Volume 53, Issue 3. You may find the table of contents and all the papers on this page: http://usj.sagepub.com/content/53/3.toc (also see below). The abstract for the guest editors’ introduction provides some key thoughts behind this special issue:
This special issue, a collection of papers presented and debated at an Urban Studies Foundation-funded workshop on Global Gentrification in London in 2012, attempts to problematise contemporary understandings of gentrification, which is all too often confined to the experiences of the so-called Global North, and sometimes too narrowly understood as classic gentrification. Instead of simply confirming the rise of gentrification in places outside of the usual suspects of North America and Western Europe, a more open-minded approach is advocated so as not to over-generalise distinctive urban processes under the label of gentrification, thus understanding gentrification as constitutive of diverse urban processes at work. This requires a careful attention to the complexity of property rights and tenure relations, and calls for a dialogue between gentrification and non-gentrification researchers to understand how gentrification communicates with other theories to capture the full dynamics of urban transformation. Papers in this special issue have made great strides towards these goals, namely theorising, distorting, mutating and bringing into question the concept of gentrification itself, as seen from the perspective of the Global East, a label that we have deliberately given in order to problematise the existing common practices of grouping all regions other than Western European and North American ones into the Global South.
This project has been a long and persistent endeavour, and it is the greatest pleasure for me, Loretta and Ernesto as guest editors to be able to see the project coming to fruition. All the contributions are empirically rich and theoretically insightful. It is the belief of the guest editors that this special issue would make a substantial contribution to the contemporary debates on gentrification and urbanisation as well as broader discussions in (comparative) urban studies and urban geography of Asia and the Global South.
The publication of this special issue coincides nicely with another book, Planetary Gentrification, which has just been released from Polity Press (http://www.polity.co.uk/book.asp?ref=9780745671642). The book coauthored by the guest editors builds upon a wide range of contemporary literature on urban processes in both the Global South and North. What we learnt from the contributions to this special issue have greatly enriched our arguments in this book.

Continue reading

젠트리피케이션 없는 세상 꿈꾸기 (Dreaming about a world without gentrification)

지난 해 10월부터 12월 사이 두 차례 한국을 방문하였고, 지내는 동안 젠트리피케이션을 화두로 많은 만남을 가졌습니다. 앞서 가졌던 고민의 깊이가 더욱 깊어졌고, 답답하고 아픈 현실에 마음 아팠지만 수 많은 실천의 몸짓을 통해 긍정의 에너지도 얻었습니다. 앞으로 해야할 일을 생각하며 신발끈을 다시 고쳐 맵니다. 아래 글은 희망제작소 (http://www.makehope.org) 에 초청기고한 것 입니다. 희망제작소 웹페이지에 게시한 글은 다음 링크 참조하세요: http://www.makehope.org/?p=30803

This is a short commentary contributed to an NGO based in Seoul, South Korea. I visited Seoul on two occasions between October and December 2015, had an opportunity to meet many people and organisations to talk about gentrification in Seoul, what damages it brings to people and neighbourhoods, and what we can do about it. It had been a very thought-provoking experience, with a lot to think about to make a difference in the future by working in solidarity with many who are already making a difference in their own place.


 

젠트리피케이션 없는 세상 꿈꾸기

신현방 (런던정경대 지리환경학과 부교수)

2015년 서울은 한국 젠트리피케이션 논쟁에서 의미있게 기억될 것입니다. 우선, 지자체가 젠트리피케이션으로 인한 임차상인의 피해를 줄이기 위해 적극적으로 개입을 시작한 해입니다. 9월 23일 성동구에서 ‘서울시 성동구 지역공동체 상호협력 및 지속가능발전구역 지정에 관한 조례’를 선포하였으며, 곧이어 두 달 뒤 11월 23일에는 서울시에서 성동구 조례를 참조하고 발전시켜 ‘젠트리피케이션을 막기 위한 종합대책’을 발표하였습니다. Continue reading

Planetary Gentrification (@politybooks, 2016), a first advanced author copy arrived

In my previous post in August 2015, I was happy to note the confirmation of the cover visual of my new book co-authored with Loretta Lees and Ernesto Lopez-Morales. I am pleased that the book Planetary Gentrification is just published and my first advanced author copy has arrived today!

IMG_20160114_142840

IMG_20160114_142924

 

 

It is great to have this publication made available in January, coinciding nicely with the forthcoming publication of a special issue on Locating Gentrification in the Global East from the journal Urban Studies next month (February). The introduction to this special issue is available here: journal’s online first page and its Word version on the LSE site.

Below is the description of the book and reviews as displayed on the publisher’s web page.

Description

Continue reading

Gentrification Seminars in Seoul, 2-22 December 2015, Seoul National University

In December 2015, I will be leading a series of seminars in Seoul on gentrification. This is to take place at Asia Centre, Seoul National University once a week and starting on 2 December. Gentrification has recently become a social and politically hot topic in Seoul, having seen frequent media coverage from late last year and politicians producing various policy proposals in recent weeks to address displacement of original residents and in particular small businesses who are being driven away due to hiking rents. All those in Seoul and interested in the topic are welcome. Please be reminded that the sessions will be run in Korean though.

Below is the seminar poster and the seminar introduction in Korean along with the weekly programme and readings:

Gentrification-WinterSchool-Programme Gentrification_WinterSchool-Cover

SSK?아시아 ?시연구단 겨울학? 

젠트리피케?션 발전주? ?시? 위기 분?과 대안전? 

지난해부터 언론? 통해서 젠트리피케?션 용어가 빈번하게 언급?고 있습니다. ?미롭게? 최근 한 대중가수가 공중파 예능프로그램?서 ? 용어를 언급한 사실? 한국사회?서 젠트리피케?션 현?? ?드러지게 나타나고 있?? 보여주는 척?입니다. ?처럼 대중? ?? ??서 젠트리피케?션 현?? 대한 관심? 확산?고 있지만, 정작 현?? 대한 기본?? 정?나 학술?? 토론 ? 연구는 아? 제대 로 진행?지 못하면서 용어? 사용과 현?? 대한 ?해? 있어서 혼란? 빚고 있습니다. ?러한 ?황 ?서 전지구? 젠트리피케?션 논?를 소개하고, 우리 사회? 젠트리피케?션? 검토하기 위해 본 겨 울학?를 기?하였습니다.

본 프로그램? 네 번? 모임으로 ?루어진다. 첫 번째 모임?서는 LSE 신현방 ?수가 젠트리피케?션 ? 대한 개론? 소개 ? 앞으로? 세미나 방향? 짚어?니다. 전지구? 젠트리피케?션? ?향과 전? ??는 주제로 강?와 토론? 펼칠 예정입니다.
? 번째 모임부터는 본격?으로 참??들? 젠트리피케?션? 대한 해외최신연구들? ?고, 토론하는 리딩(reading) 세미나 방?입니다. ? 번째 모임?서는 현재 젠트리피케?션 논??서 국가별, ?시별, 지역별로 어떤 차?와 공통?? 있는지를 살펴본다. 세 번째 모임?서는 기존? 서구?시 중심? 연구 ? ??를 받아들?면서? 탈서구?? 시??서 아시아 ?시 사례들? 살펴봅니다. ??으로 네 번째 모 임?서는 실천?, 정책? 측면?서 젠트리피케?션? 대한 대안? 혹? 대항?? 실천과 방향? 논하 는 것으로 ?국? 사례를 살펴보고, 한국 젠트리피케?션? 대한 짧? 발표를 들? 예정입니다.

세미나? ??거리는 대부분 ?문논문들??서 ?반?들?게는 발제? 대한 부담? 있? 수 있지만, 세미나? 주제가 현실 ??과 매우 밀접하게 결부?어 있는 만? 발제는 연구?, 대학?? 중심으로 하면서 참?? ?? 넓히고? 합니다.

본 겨울학?를 기?한 SSK ?아시아 ?시 연구단? “발전주? ?시화??는 화?를 잡고서 어떻게 한 국? ?시?서 국가 주?? ?시화 과정? 진행?었고, 민주화, 세계화, 신?유주?화, 경제위기? ?면 하여 ?시가 변형?었는지를 연구하고 있습니다. ?러한 문제?? 위? ?번 겨울학?는 보다 정?롭 고 ?용?? 탈발전주? ?시화로 나아가는 경로를 실천?으로 모색하려는 시?입니다. ? 프로그램? 취지와 젠트리피케?션 논?? 관심 있는 분들? 많? 참여를 기다립니다.

문?.

Tel. 02-880-2869

Email. karen1987@naver.com

Weekly Schedule and Reading List:

Week 1: Global Gentrifications. Lecture by Hyun Bang Shin (LSE)
2 December 2015, 3 pm (Room 303, Asia Center, SNU)

  • Smith, N. and Williams, P. (1986) Gentrification of the City. London: Unwind Hyman. Chapter by Neil Smith on “Gentrification, the frontier, and the restructuring of urban space?, and Chapter by Pete Marcuse on “Abandonment, gentrification, and displacement: the linkages in New York City?

Week 2: Gentrification from a Comparative Perspective
9 December 2015, 3 pm (Room 406, Asia Center, SNU)

  • Lees, L. (2012) The geography of gentrification: Thinking through comparative urbanism. 36(2): 155-171
  • Ley D. and Teo S.Y. (2014) Gentrification in Hong Kong? Epistemology vs. Ontology. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 38(4): 1286-1303
  • Lees, L., Shin, H.B. and E. López-Morales. (2015) “Conclusion: global gentrifications? in Global Gentrifications: Uneven development and displacement. Policy Press. : 441-452.

Week 3: Gentrification outside the Global North
15 December 2015, 3 pm (Room 303, Asia Centre, SNU)

  • López-Morales E (2015) Gentrification in the global South. City 19(4): 564-73.
  • Ghertner A (2015) Why gentrification theory fails in ‘much of the world’. City 19(4): 552-63.
  • Shin, H.B. and Kim, S-H. (2015) The developmental state, speculative urbanisation and the politics of displacement in gentrifying Seoul. Urban Studies http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0042098014565745

Week 4Alternatives to Gentrification
22 December 2015, 3 pm (Room 303, Asia Center, SNU)

 

New Publication: Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement (2015)

GlobalGentrifications2015-coverimageGlobal Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement, a co-edited volume that I’ve been working on with Loretta Lees (University of Leicester) and Ernesto Lopez-Morales (University of Chile, Santiago), is finally out now! The initial starting of this project was the support from the Urban Studies Foundation and the Urban Studies journal for a seminar series on Towards an Emerging Geography of Gentrification in the Global South, which took place in London and Santiago de Chile in 2012. Some of the contributors to this volume were from the seminar series, but many others kindly made contributions along the way to this exciting project. To acquire the book, please visit the publisher’s page here.

About the book:

Under contemporary capitalism the extraction of value from the built environment has escalated, working in tandem with other urban processes to lay the foundations for the exploitative processes of gentrification world-wide. Global gentrifications: Uneven development and displacement critically assesses and tests the meaning and significance of gentrification in places outside the ‘usual suspects’ of the Global North. Informed by a rich array of case studies from cities in Asia, Latin America, Africa, Southern Europe, and beyond, the book (re)discovers the important generalities and geographical specificities associated with the uneven process of gentrification globally. It highlights intensifying global struggles over urban space and underlines gentrification as a growing and important battleground in the contemporary world. The book will be of value to students and academics, policy makers, planners and community organisations.

Endorsement:

“The political economy of inequality and poverty is foundational for understanding cities everywhere. This wonderfully curated volume on gentrification does this to illuminate urban realities of the global south.? Susan Parnell, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town

“This magnificent collection of gentrification studies interrogates this classic western-derived concept at an unprecedentedly global scale.The book profoundly extends the scope of gentrification research and reinvigorates the notion from the perspective of comparative urbanism.” Fulong Wu, Bartlett Professor of Planning UCL

“This remarkable book, edited with clarity of vision and political purpose, is sensitive to the ‘new comparative urbanism’ whilst arguing that to ‘unlearn’ how we theorise gentrification would be highly questionable. The circulation of capital and the dominance of speculative landed developer interests in cities is leading to massive displacement and social suffering, and this timely volume reminds us that these issues should be at the forefront of our inquiries.” Tom Slater, University of Edinburgh

 

New publication: “The developmental state, speculative urbanisation and the politics of displacement in gentrifying Seoul”

The paper that I’ve been working on for a while with another colleague Professor Soo-Hyun Kim (Sejong University; now the Director of the Seoul Institute) is out now, published by the Urban Studies journal as an online first version. This is part of the forthcoming special issue on Locating Gentrification in East Asia, co-edited by myself, Loretta Lees and Ernesto López-Morales. Its full bibliography details for citing are as follows:

Shin, H.B. and Kim, S-H. (2015) The developmental state, speculative urbanisation and the politics of displacement in gentrifying SeoulUrban Studies doi: 10.1177/0042098014565745

It adopts a broader definition of gentrification as an urban process of commodifying urban space that results in displacement of original inhabitants (hence not just owners but also users), and argues that contrary to the notion of gentrification travelling from the West to the East or from the global South to the global North, gentrification as a process of class-led socio-spatial restructuring is essentially an endogenous process that helps rewrite the landscape in Seoul to address the needs of speculative accumulation by the Korean developmental state. I attach its abstract below, with some of the images that are included in the paper.

Abstract:
What does gentrification mean under speculative urbanisation led by a strong developmental state? This paper analyses the contemporary history of Seoul’s urban redevelopment, arguing that new-build gentrification is an endogenous process embedded in Korea’s highly speculative urban development processes from the 1980s. Property owners, construction firms and local/central governments coalesce, facilitating the extraction of exchange value by closing the rent gap. Displacement of poorer owner-occupiers and tenants was requisite for the success of speculative accumulation. Furthermore, the paper also contends that Korea’s speculative urbanisation under the strong developmental (and later (neo-)liberalising) state has rendered popular resistance to displacement ineffective despite its initial success in securing state concessions. Examining the experience of Seoul in times of condensed industrialisation and speculative urbanisation helps inform the existing literature on gentrification by resorting to non-Western empirics.

Figure 2. Ogsu neighbourhood before and after redevelopment (project period: November 1984 - October 1990). Source: Photographs provided through the courtesy of The Seoul Institute.

Figure 2. Ogsu neighbourhood before and after redevelopment (project period: November 1984 – October 1990). Source: Photographs provided through the courtesy of The Seoul Institute.

Figure 4. Locations of areas designated for redevelopment in Seoul. Source: Map adopted from Bureau of Housing (2008) and adjusted

Figure 4. Locations of areas designated for redevelopment in Seoul. Source: Map adopted from Bureau of Housing (2008) and adjusted

Gentrification in the Global South: Dilapidation, Obsolescence and Land Exploitation

First Call for Papers

RGS-IBG 2011 Conference: The Geographical Imagination

31st August – 2nd September 2011 (London)

Gentrification in the Global South: Dilapidation, Obsolescence and Land Exploitation

Organisers:

Dr Hyun Bang Shin (Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics) h.b.shin@lse.ac.uk

Dr Ernesto López-Morales (Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, University of Chile) elopez@uchilefau.cl

Sponsors: Urban Geography Research Group

Summary:

The proposed session aims to examine how gentrification as an urban phenomenon is played out outside the domain of the European and North Atlantic regions. In particular, we invite contributions that address the production of gentrifiable properties and areas through the interaction between obsolescence (fall of exchange value) and dilapidation (decrease in the use value), reinforced by the re-appreciation of landed value and rent gap exploitation. Dilapidation may occur as a result of physical deterioration caused by either deliberate actions/inactions by property-owners or state institutions (e.g. redlining or blockbusting). Obsolescence, on the other hand, may result from changes in the preference for a particular building style or aesthetic tastes, but increasingly, it is the deliberate acts of market agents that affect the artificial decline of the exchange value. As these processes of devaluation take place, they produce waves of displacement and eventually eviction, prompting potential urban segregation. However, although the public policy usually sees the construction of ‘trendy’ commercial buildings as a neighbourhood ‘saviour’, this form of urban production overshadows existing buildings and often leads to the obsolescence of the latter, prompting a further chain reaction of redevelopment that aims at higher rates of financial gains. Continue reading