Arriving soon: Neoliberal Urbanism, Contested Cities and Housing in Asia

I have posted earlier (see here) about a new forthcoming book from @Palgrave_, Neoliberal Urbanism, Contested Cities and Housing in Asia, and it is my pleasure to confirm that the book proof has been finalised and it’s ready for the final production. The book’s cover image is also finalised and is attached here as follows. The image shows an aerial view of Taipei City – the selection of Taipei City was a conscious decision, as the image depicts a mix of diverse urban forms as well as the juxtaposition of both nature and the second nature (the built environment) in an urban space that presents a palimpsest of layers of social relations and histories of contestations. All these speak to the main themes of the book.

What is the book about?

Considering Asian cities ranging from Taipei, Hong Kong and Bangkok to Hanoi, Nanjing and Seoul, this collection discusses the socio-political processes of how neoliberalization entwines with local political economies and legacies of ‘developmental’ or ‘socialist’ statism to produce urban contestations centered on housing. The book takes housing as a key entry point, given its prime position in the making of social and economic policies as well as the political legitimacy of Asian states. It examines urban policies related to housing in Asian economies in order to explore their continuing alterations and mutations, as they come into conflict and coalesce with neoliberal policies. In discussing the experience of each city, it takes into consideration the variegated relations between the state, the market and the society, and explores how the global pressure of neoliberalization has manifested in each country and has influenced the shaping of national housing questions.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. Centering Housing Questions in Asian Cities (Yi-Ling Chen and Hyun Bang Shin)
  • Chapter 2. ‘Re-occupying the State’: Social Housing Movement and the Transformation of Housing Policies in Taiwan (Yi-Ling Chen)
  • Chapter 3. Displacement by Neoliberalism: Addressing the Housing Crisis of Hong Kong in the Restructuring of Pearl River Delta Region (Shu-Mei Huang)
  • Chapter 4. When Neoliberalization Meets Clientelism: Housing Policies for Low- and Middle-Income Housing in Bangkok (Thammarat Marohabutr)
  • Chapter 5. Neoliberal Urbanism Meets Socialist Modernism: Vietnam’s Post-Reform Housing Policies and the New Urban Zones of Hanoi (Hoai Anh Tran and Ngai-Ming Yip)
  • Chapter 6. Beyond Property Rights and Displacement: China’s Neoliberal Transformation and Housing Inequalities (Zhao Zhang)
  • Chapter 7. Development and Inequality in Urban China: The Privatization of Homeownership and the Transformation of Everyday Practice (Sarah Tynen)
  • Chapter 8. Weaving the Common in the Financialized City: A Case of Urban Cohousing Experience in South Korea (Didi K. Han)
  • Chapter 9. Contesting Property Hegemony in Asian Cities (Hyun Bang Shin)

Forthcoming paper, #Asian #urbanism, from the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies

A paper of mine on Asian Urbanism is going to appear in the forthcoming Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies, scheduled to be published in April 2019. Its author copy in PDF is downloadable from the LSE Research Online page found on this link:


This chapter on Asian urbanism begins by examining how Asian urbanism can be seen as both actually existing and imagined, taking into consideration the ways in which Asian urbanism has entailed the use of successful Asian cities as reference points for other cities in the Global South on the one hand, and how such referencing practices often entail the rendering of Asian urbanism as imagined models and ideologies that are detached from the realities of the receiving end of the model transfer on the other. The ensuing section examines how Asian urbanism can be situated in the context of state-society relations, with a particular emphasis on the role of the Asian states that exhibited developmental and/or authoritarian orientations in the late twentieth century. The penultimate section explores the socio-spatiality of Asian urbanism, summarising some salient characteristics of Asian urbanism. The final section concludes with an emphasis on the need of avoiding Asian exceptionalism, and also of having a pluralistic perspective on Asian urbanism.

My paper in the new volume titled Social Justice and the City (ed. Nik Heynen)

Happy to see the publication of this volume, which includes a paper of mine entitled “Urban movements and the genealogy of urban rights discourses: the case of urban protesters against redevelopment and displacement in Seoul, South Korea” previously published in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers ( The new edited volume is the republication of all the papers that previously formed the journal’s special issue on the same title. #urban #socialjustice #rights #redevelopment #displacement #korea #seoul

Heynen, N. (ed.) (2019) Social Justice and the City. Routledge

Short essay: The Geographies of Gentrification in East Asia, contributed to the IIAS Newsletter Vol.79, 2018

The International Institute for Asian Studies based in Leiden, the Netherlands, publishes The Newsletter three times a year to report on current affairs in Asia and connect academics with wider audience. The news from Northeast Asia in the Spring 2018 edition covers gentrification in East Asian cities, and features four pieces as below. My piece provided an overview of the geographies of gentrification in the region, while three other pieces contributed by Yoshihiro Fujitsuka, Seon Young Lee and Qinran Yang discuss each country case. It was pleasure to work with the section editor, Ilhong Ko, to put the contributors together to make this happen.

News from Northeast Asia, The Newsletter Vol.79, Spring 2018
(direct link:

Editorial: Gentrification in East Asian cities by Ilhong Ko
Read more

The geographies of gentrification in East Asia by Hyun Bang Shin
Read more

Deregulation policy and gentrification in Chuo Ward, Tokyo by Yoshihiro Fujitsuka
Read more

Resisting gentrification in South Korea by Seon Young Lee
Read more

State, global urbanism, and gentrification in Chengdu by Qinran Yang
Read more

New chapter: “Studying global gentrifications”

Happy to see the publication of my chapter, “Studying Global Gentrifications”, invited for inclusion in this new volume edited by John Harrison and Michael Hoyler.

Click here to download the Word version of the chapter

This chapter builds on my ongoing enquiries into the planetary rise of gentrification and variegated geographies of gentrification (and therefore, gentrifications in plural rather than Gentrification with a capital ‘G’). The volume includes many other interesting chapters, so worth taking a look. For more details of the book, see here:

For citation: Shin, H.B. (2018) Studying global gentrifications, in: J. Harrison and M. Hoyler (eds.), Doing Global Urban Research. London: Sage, pp. 138-152.

In this chapter, I discuss some of the salient issues that are at the centre of planetary thinking of gentrification, examining how the inclusion of the urbanization experiences of non-usual suspects in the Global South helps us expand our horizon of gentrification research and reinterpret what has been learnt from the Global North. First, the chapter discusses how our understanding of displacement needs to actively take into consideration the temporality, spatial relations and subjectivity. Second, the chapter ascertains the importance of locating gentrification in broader urban processes and also in the context of uneven development. Third, the chapter argues that gentrification is to be treated as a political and ideological project of the state and the ruling class in addition to it being an economic project. The concluding section sums up the arguments and provides some reflections on what it means to do comparative research on global gentrifications from a planetary perspective.


New @CITYanalysis Special Feature on The Urban Process under Planetary Accumulation by Dispossession

Happy to see the new @CITYanalysis (Vol 22, No 1) special feature on The #Urban Process under #Planetary #Accumulation by #Dispossession, which I guest edited with Louis Moreno (Goldsmiths, University of London). Direct link to the issue here:

The special feature has a wonderful collection of contributors, who are Alex Loftus (on Planetary Concerns), Matthew Gandy (on Cities in Deep Time: Bio-diversity, metabolic rift, and the urban question), Nasser Abourahme (on Of Monsters and Boomerangs: Colonial returns in the late liberal city), Ilse Helbrecht and Francesca Weber-Newth (on Recovering the Politics of Planning: Developer contributions and the contemporary housing question), Elvin K. Wyly and Jatinder K. Dhillon (on Planetary Kantsaywhere: Cognitive capitalist universities and accumulation by cognitive dispossession), and Louis Moreno (on Always Crashing in the Same City: Real estate, psychic capital and planetary desire).

The introduction to the special feature is available open access and can be accessed here:

The special feature introduced herein benefits from the discussions held during the double sessions on The Urban Process under Planetary Accumulation by Dispossession at the 2016 annual conference of the American Association of Geographers in San Francisco.

New book chapter on the fallacy of Songdo (Smart) City, South Korea

9780415745512Great to see the publication of my chapter “Envisioned by the state: Entrepreneurial urbanism and the making of Songdo City, South Korea” in this new edited volume Mega-urbanization in the Global South: Fast Cities and New Urban Utopias of the Postcolonial State, edited by . In: Ayona Datta and Abdul Shaban. I look forward to receiving its printed copy.

For viewing the Word version and its download, please click here.

Below is an excerpt from the chapter’s introduction:

So much has been said about Songdo City in recent years in both academic and practitioner circles. International media has also taken part to inflate the reputation of Songdo City, hailed initially as an eco-city, then as a ubiquitous city (or U-city) and now a smart city (Shwayri, 2013; Shin, Park and Sonn, forthcoming; Kim, 2010). The New York Times went even further to dub it “Korea’s High-Tech Utopia” (O’Connell, 2005). Sometimes its own promotional material puts all these together and simply refers to Songdo as an eco-friendly ubiquitous smart city (IFEZ Authority, 2007). Governments elsewhere see Songdo as a reference for their own mega-projects to create a brand new city from the scratch (see El Telégrafo, 2012 for example on the construction of Yachay City in Ecuador). However, Songdo has come to cater exclusively for the needs of domestic and global investors as well as the rich who have financial resources to grab upmarket real estate properties. It may indeed be an urban utopia, built on a reclaimed tabula rasa and promoted by the state, merging together technological innovation, fixed assets investment, real estate speculation and financialisation, for exclusive use of the rich and the powerful.



New special issue on ‘Developmentalist Urbanisation and Gentrification’ from Space and Society, a Korean academic journal

A quick announcement in Korean with regard to the publication of a journal special issue on “Developmentalist Urbanisation and Gentrification” guested edited by myself and published in Korean by the journal Space and Society.

공간과 사회 26권 3호 ‘발전주의 도시화와 젠트리피케이션’ 특집호가 얼마전 발간되었습니다. 특집호 제목은 “발전주의 도시화와 젠트리피케이션”입니다. 발간 논문 목록은 아래와 같습니다. 객원편집은 제가 하였지만, 원고를 기고해주시고 투고 원고 리뷰해주신 분들의 노력으로 가능한 특집호 입니다. 모두에게 감사드립니다. 전 과정에서 많은 격려와 도움 주신 InKwon Park 편집위원장님께도 감사드립니다.

이번 특집호에는 Takeout Drawing에서의 저항 경험을 분석한 두 개의 글이 실렸습니다. 객원편집위원을 비롯한 모든 필진들이 테이크아웃드로잉에 다양한 방식으로 함께 했었기에 어떤 의미에선 이번 특집호가 테이크아웃드로잉 헌정호라고 할 수도 있겠습니다.

특집호에 실린 모든 글들이 한국에서의 젠트리피케이션 저항 운동에 조금이라도 도움이 되기를 바랍니다. 주변에도 널리 소개해주시길 부탁드립니다.

논문을 원하시는 분들은 공간과 사회 온라인 사이트에서 ( 원고 받으실 수 있지만, 접속이 어려우신 분들은 제게 또는 개별 필자에게 별도 메시지 주십시오. 그리고, 제 편집의 글은 아래 링크에서 다운 받으실 수 있습니다.

  • 신현방 (2016) 편집의 글: 발전주의 도시화와 젠트리피케이션, 그리고 저항의 연대. 공간과 사회 26(3): 5-14. URL:…/Shin-2016-발전주의도시화와젠트리피케이션_KCI_FI0…
  • 김지윤, 이선영 (2016) 도시형 재난과 문화적 저항: 테이크아웃드로잉의 안티-젠트리피케이션 운동을 중심으로. 공간과 사회 26(3): 15-41
  • Yoonai Han (2016) 도시공유재의 인클로저와 테이크아웃드로잉의 반란적 공유 실천 운동. 공간과 사회 26(3): 42-76
  • Hyunjoon Shin (2016) ‘청년’과 ‘동포’ 사이의 도시재생과 문화예술 구로의 산업적 젠트리피케이션/전치와 그 배후의 장소만들기. 공간과 사회 26(3): 77-114

테이크아웃드로잉, 2016년 어느 여름 (c) Hyun Bang Shin

테이크아웃드로잉, 2016년 어느 여름 (c) Hyun Bang Shin

“Planetary Gentrification” authors-meet-Critics session at RGS-IBG annual conference 2016

PlanetaryGentrification-CoverVisualI am very much looking forward to this ‘authors-meet-critics’ session at this year’s RGS-IBG annual conference, featuring my co-authored book Planetary Gentrification.

The session is to be convened and chaired by Professor Ronan Paddision (University of Glasglow), and sees the contributions from three critics, Professor David Ley (The University of British Columbia), Dr Andy Merrifield and Dr Kate Maclean (Birkbeck, University of London). All three authors are also going to be present (Ernesto via Skype connection).

The session is sponsored by the journal Urban Studies, and is followed by a drink reception in the Drayson Room from 18.45.


235 Authors meet critics: Planetary gentrification
Convenor(s) Ronan Paddison (University of Glasgow, UK)
Chair(s) Ronan Paddison (University of Glasgow, UK)
Timetable Thursday 01 September 2016, Session 4 (16:50 – 18:30)
Room RGS-IBG Ondaatje Theatre
Session abstract At the beginning of the C21st proclamations rang out that gentrification had gone global, this book critically evaluates that assumption. Drawing on the ‘new’ comparative urbanism and writings on planetary urbanization the book argues that gentrification is one of the most significant and socially unjust processes affecting cities world-wide today. Looking beyond the usual gentrification suspects in Euro-America, towards ‘non-Western cities’ in the Global South and East, the authors undertake a much needed transurban learning underpinned by a critical political economy approach. The book shows that gentrification has unfolded at a planetary scale, but it has not assumed a North to South or West to East trajectory, it is much more complex than that. Rich with empirical detail, yet wide-ranging, Planetary Gentrification unhinges, unsettles, and provincializes Western notions of urban development. The book is invaluable to urban scholars interested in the Future of Cities and the production of a truly global urban studies, and to all those committed to social justice in cities. Sponsored by Urban Studies


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
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: