On 12th September 2019, it was pleasure to visit Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore and give a talk entitled “Urbanisation of (East Asian) Capital, and the Rise of Enclave Urbanism in Vietnam”. Many thanks to Prof Tim Bunnell (Director of ARI) for the invitation and to Prof Ho Kong Chong for chairing the talk.


Inter-referencing within the global South has become an important development strategy for cities in the region: Singapore, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Seoul emerge as a source of inspiration by other cities in the global South, despite questions about the replicability of their development models. Against this backdrop, this talk scrutinises the practices of South Korean and Singaporean real estate developers who have made a marked presence in Vietnam by building commercial housing estates and new towns targeting Vietnam’s middle or upper classes. By doing so, it examines the extent to which such foreign developers’ participation in Vietnam’s urban and housing development process reflects their own visions of urbanism accumulated through their participation in urban and housing development in their countries of origin, and what such participation resulting in the rise of enclave urbanism means for the spatial justice in Vietnam. The discussions are based on the empirical data (archives, in-depth interviews and observation) collected during the author’s field trips to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in spring and summer 2017.

The details of the event can be found here.