Pleased to confirm that a paper of mine, entitled Unequal Cities of Spectacle and Mega-events in China and originally published in 2012 from the journal CITY, is going to be republished in French from the journal Alternatives Sud (AS) in March 2016. The republication is part of the journal’s themed issue on globalisation of sport, with a focus on mega-events and their implications on developing/emergings countries and populations.
The journal Alternatives Sud is part of the activities by the Centre tricontinental (CETRI), a progressive research centre founded in 1976 in Belgium. According to the centre, it now aims to:
“promote a better understanding of the North-South/South-South relations and problems and to contribute to critical analysis of the dominant concepts and practices of development in the context of the neo-liberal globalisation. It is particularly supportive of understanding and discussing the role of social and political actors in the South who are fighting for the recognition of social, political, cultural and environmental rights.”
If you are interested in reading the full paper, you may visit the journal’s web site or here.
The London School of Economics runs a summer school programme annually in Beijing in collaboration with Peking University. There will be altogether 15 courses provided for the 2015 session, including Speculative Urbanisation in Asia (course code GY201). This is an urban geography course of mine, an updated version of Urban Asia and China taught in the 2014 session.
Applications for the 2015 LSE-PKU Summer School in Beijing, China, will open in early January 2015. Early applications are recommended. For more details on application procedure and details of fees, accommodations and entry requirements, please visit the official web page of the LSE-PKU Summer School here.
Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any enquiries about the course itself. Below is the summary of the course descriptions and a list of topics covered.
The course explores the contemporary dynamics of urbanisation in Asia, with special emphasis on cities in China and other East and Southeast Asian economies, which share theexperiences of rapid urban development with strong state intervention in speculative city- (re)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. 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.
Day 1. Introduction: Planetary Urbanisation and Asian Cities
Day 2. Speculative Urbanisation and the East Asian States
Day 3. Urban Change in (Post-)Socialist China: Dialectics of Decentralisation and the Path
Dependency of Economic and Social Reform
Day 4. (Re-)making Cities in East Asia: Speculative Urbanisation and Growth Politics
Day 5. Land and Housing Development in China: ‘Nation of Chai’ (Demolition), Sub-urban
Development and Informality
Day 6. Olympic Cities: Event-led Urban Development and Politics of Spectacles
Day 7. Heritage and Urban Development (inc. Field trip to central Beijing)
Day 8. Gentrifying Asia: Global Gentrifications and Politics of Displacement
Day 9. Contesting Cities: The Right to the City and the Critique of Property-rights Activism
Day 10. Indebted Citizens: Economic Crisis and Work/Social Inequalities
Part of the university campus where Peking University students carry out their daily life
Weiming Lake (or Unnamed Lake in English) in Peking University campus
Field trip in central Beijing (Drum and Bell Tower area) as part of the course activities in 2014
One of many university canteens in Peking University
Group photo session for the 2014 LSE-PKU Summer School students
In my earlier post, I have mentioned a crisis-scape.net conference in Athens that I am attending soon. As part of this, I’ve written a chapter for a book that is published as a conference proceeding. Attached below is the direct link to my chapter’s online version (images to follow are the ones inserted in my own chapter):
The proceeding includes a number of writings by key critics including David Harvey, Andy Merrifield, Tom Slater and Stavros Stavrides. For those of you interested in urban crisis in Greece, there are many interesting chapters in the book, written by those who study in/on Greece.
Update: A slightly revised version of this paper is now published from the CITY journal, and can be fully downloaded freely from the link below. Please use this journal version for any citation.
This is a commentary of mine posted on the LSE web site on 22 October, entitled From Beijing to Rio. It builds upon my research on mega-events in China to discuss lessons that can be learnt from China for Brazil’s forthcoming FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. I thank Candy Gibson at LSE Media for the help with editing.
Latest issue of Antipode out now, and the Right to the City in China
Hyun’s paper critically revisits the existing debates on the property rights activism in China and refers to the perspective on the right to the city to examine whose rights count in China’s urban development contexts. Through a case study of redevelopment projects in Guangzhou in China, he calls for the need for both migrants and local citizens to form a cross-class alliance that goes beyond the civic activism. Continue reading →
Taylor & Francis online has put together a selection of papers on China’s Capitalism. The topics range from economics and finance to management and development studies. In total, 15 papers published between 2007 and 2013 are listed on its themed page, and are free to download until the end of December 2013.
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.
This is the fifth monthly contribution to the Korean daily newspaper, The KyungHyang Shinmun. I have chosen by Qin Shao, Professor of History at The College of New Jersey. There is an excerpt of the book in English, which can be viewed on the Asia Society web site on this link.
The book discusses the life and struggle of Shanghai’s displacees whose life courses have abruptly changed by the city-wide redevelopment projects. Facing the almighty power of the state, developers, media and so on, displacees are transformed from ordinary residents to an occupational petitioners, a barrack-room lawyer or a community leader. The rights discourse spelled out by these people also provides a fascinating insight for our understanding on how the interaction between reform measures (economic, political and legal) and people’s response to these have reshaped their rights awareness and views on social justice.
The contents of this book resonate with my own research on residents’ displacement and redevelopment in Seoul (Nangok neighbourhood, 난곡) in South Korea (see my papers from Geoforum and Environment and Urbanization) as well as in Beijing and Guangzhou in China (in particular, my papers from Antipode and Urban Studies).
The following is an invited contribution to the China Policy Institute Blog (thanks to Jonathan Sullivan for the invitation and editorial support). The theme of the blog at the time of the invitation was ‘environment’, and to me, this cannot be detached from the issue of China’s speculative urbanism that has been sweeping the country for years.
Updated on 12 October 2014: A related piece is published in the CITY journal in September 2014. It is entitled Contesting Speculative Urbanisation and Strategising Discontents. Click here to read the paper. Related blog post can be found here.
Critics have been speculating since the 1990s that China had already entered an ‘urban age,’ with a large number of migrants unaccounted for in the national census. But it was not until 2011 when the majority of the country’s national population were to be found, officially, in urban areas for the first time in history. From the viewpoint of the built environment, China’s urbanisation has entailed a massive accumulation of the country’s fixed assets through investments in infrastructure, facilities and real estate properties. Key cities have led the way. For instance, in the case of Beijing, the city’s share of total fixed asset investment in its gross regional product was more than 40 per cent for much of the 2000s. More than half of Beijing’s fixed asset investment during this period went into the real estate sector. Such a mode of urban accumulation plays out in a geographically uneven way. In comparison with Beijing, the share of Tianjin’s total fixed asset investment in its gross regional product was more than 50 per cent in 2008, and rapidly rose to 71 per cent in 2010, but the city’s investment in the real estate sector remained around 20 per cent or less during the first eight years of the 2000s. Continue reading →
Open Democracy based in the United Kingdom is running a new series on Cities in Conflict, which according to the series editors “seeks to examine cities as conceptualised, planned or contested sites of conflict, security or resistance.” The series includes a number of themes that range from ‘the insurgent city’, ‘cities of exception’ and ‘the city yet to come’ to ‘the disputed city’, ‘splintering cities’ and ‘cities of shock’. It bring together a number of critics who will undoubtedly provide an interesting set of critical perspectives on understanding contemporary cities in this ‘urban age’.
The sight of houses standing alone in cleared construction sites has captured the media’s attention both in and outside of China in recent years. A recent case featured a five-storey house that stood in the middle of a newly constructed road in the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province. The house-owners were reportedly frustrated with the inadequate compensation they were offered by the local authority, and unlike their neighbours, refused to relocate. After sparking an internet sensation, the house was demolished in early December 2012: the owners eventually accepted compensation, reportedly around one third of what they claimed to be the original construction costs. Continue reading →