Hyun Bang Shin was born in Seoul, South Korea. He is Professor of Geography and Urban Studies in the Department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is also the Director of the LSE Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre.
His research focuses on critically analysing the political economy of urbanisation, with particular attention to cities in Asian countries, including China, South Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore. Specific sub-themes of his research cover speculative urbanisation, gentrification, displacement, housing, the right to the city, urban spectacles, and Asian urbanisms. His most recent projects on circulating urbanism and Asian capital involve field research in Quito, Manila, Iskandar Malaysia, Kuwait City and London.
His books include a co-edited volume, Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement (Policy Press, 2015), and a co-authored monograph, Planetary Gentrification (Polity Press, 2016), both part of a collaboration with Loretta Lees (University of Leicester) and Ernesto López-Morales (University of Chile). The publication of these books emanated from a series of workshops, “Towards an Emerging Geography of Gentrification in the Global South”, in 2012, supported by the Urban Studies journal and Urban Studies Foundation.
He has also published Anti Gentrification: What is to be Done (Dongnyok, 2017), an edited volume that brought together activists, artists, professionals and academics who have been at the forefront of fighting gentrification in South Korea in recent years. He has recently co-edited Neoliberal Urbanism, Contested Cities and Housing in Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), Exporting Urban Korea? Reconsidering the Korean Urban Development Experience (Routledge, 2021) and COVID-19 in Southeast Asia: Insights for a Post-Pandemic World (London: LSE Press).
He is currently working on a co-edited volume, The Political Economy of Mega Projects in Asia: Globalization and Urban Transformation (forthcoming, Routledge) and two other book projects including a monograph Making China Urban (for Routledge) and a monograph on the making of speculative city of Seoul.
He has been an Editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research since January 2021 and a trustee (since 2016) and treasurer (since 2022) of the Urban Studies Foundation. He also sits on the international advisory board of the journal Antipode as well as on the editorial board of the journals: Urban Geography; City: Analysis of Urban Change, Theory, Action; City, Culture and Society; Dialogues in Urban Research (SAGE journal); Transactions in Planning and Urban Research (SAGE journal); Space and Environment [in Korea]; China City Planning Review [in China].
He was awarded BSc from Seoul National University in 1994, worked in the construction sector for six years before arriving at the LSE to pursue MSc (2000) and PhD (2006), and held a post-doctoral fellowship at the White Rose East Asia Centre, University of Leeds (2007-2008). He had professional work experiences in mechanical engineering and project management, and urban planning, having worked for a leading construction firm in South Korea before his graduate studies.