I am running a summer school course, Urban Asia and China (course code: LPS-GY201) as part of the LSE-Peking University Summer School in August 2014. The Summer School runs between 11-22 August 2014, and takes place in Beijing. More information on the Summer School can be found here: LSE-Peking University Summer School. Applications for the 2014 entry will be accepted from January 2014.

Below are the details of the above course. Please circulate and spread the words to any interested students.


LSE-PKU Summer School 2014

LPS-GY201: Urban Asia and China: Cities, Society and Development
Download the Outline Syllabus in PDF 


Associate Professor in Geography and Urban Studies
Department of Geography and Environment
London School of Economics and Political Science

Hyun Shin is a specialist in urban Asia and lectures in the Department of Geography and Environment. His research includes the critical analysis of political economic dynamics of contemporary urban development and covers Asian urbanisation, speculative urbanism, displacement and gentrification, the right to the city, and mega-events as urban spectacles. Recently, he was the recipient of the STICERD/LSE Annual Fund New Researcher Award in 2009, which funded his two-year research (May 2009 – July 2011) on the socio-spatial and political implications of the 2010 Asian Summer Games in Guangzhou, China. In 2012, he organised workshops in London and Santiago de Chile, together with colleagues from the UK, Chile and Argentina, on Towards an Emerging Geography of Gentrification in the Global South. These workshops were part of the Urban Studies Seminar Series (2011-2012),funded by the Urban Studies Foundation and the Urban Studies journal. He is currently working on a number of publication projects including a co-authored monograph and a co-edited volume on critical discussions of gentrification in the global South. His book on Making China Urban is also expected to be published in 2015 from Routledge. 

For more information, see his personal web page, his department profile or his entry on the LSE Experts directory.

Course Overview

The course explores the contemporary dynamics of urbanisation in Asia, with special emphasis on cities in East and Southeast Asia that have experienced rapid urban development with strong state intervention in city-making and economic development. The course will benefit from the geographical advantage of taking place in Beijing and make use a number of China case studies to examine the differences as well as similarities of urban development between Chinese and other Asian cities.

Applying interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives, the course encourages students to develop critical knowledge and comparative understanding of how urban space is transformed in different social, economic and political settings, and what socio-spatial implications are made in a differentiated way upon local populations. The course will draw on various examples of urban policy and practice from cities across Asia, with emphasis on newly industrialised economies in East and Southeast Asia.

Throughout the course, we ask whether the concepts and theories born out of the (post-)industrial Western urban experiences can be applicable to the understanding of urban Asia. We also ask what are the challenges that cities in East and Southeast Asia face, given its current development trajectory. We do this by examining a set of carefully selected themes that address (a) the integration of Asian cities with the global economy, (2) the distinctive characteristics of Asia’s urban development, and (3) the place-specificities of state intervention in forming urban growth strategies. 

Recommended Preparatory Reading List

  • Campanella, T.J. (2008) The concrete revolution: China’s urban revolution and what it means for the world. New York: Princeton Architectural Press
  • Forrest, R. and Lee, J. (eds) (2003) Housing and social change: East-West perspectives. London: Routledge
  • Friedmann, J. (2005) China’s urban transition. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press
  • Gordon, M. (2011) Ghetto at the center of the world: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
  • Knowles, C. and Harper, D. (2010) Hong Kong: Migrant lives, landscapes, and journeys. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
  • Par, B-G. et al. (2012) Locating neoliberalism in East Asia: Neoliberalizing spaces in developmental states. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell 
  • Robinson, J. (2006) Ordinary cities: Between modernity and development. London: Routledge

Prerequisites: None

Assessment: Essay, 50% (1,500 words); Final Exam, 50%

Students are required to produce a 1,500-word assessed essay by the end of the course. There will also be a closed book final written examination with essay style questions.

Session Overview

  • Session 1: Globalising World, Speculative Urbanism and Asian Cities
  • Session 2: Cities in Transition: Urban Change in (Post-)Socialist Cities
  • Session 3: City-remaking: Politics of Urban Development
  • Session 4: Olympic Cities: Urban Spectacles, Mega-events and Mega-projects
  • Session 5: Gentrification and Politics of Displacement in Urban Asia
  • Session 6: Rural-urban interstices: Sub-urban Development and Informality
  • Session 7: China’s mega-city regions and regional governance
  • Session 8: Urbanisation, migration and citizenship
  • Session 9: Financial crisis and social change
  • Session 10: Sustainable Development and Future of Cities
Guangzhou - Seoul - Singapore - Shanghai - Hong Kong - Ho Chi Minh City (c) Hyun Bang Shin (various years)
Guangzhou – Seoul – Singapore – Shanghai – Hong Kong – Ho Chi Minh City (c) Hyun Bang Shin (various years)