Urban Asia

Cities and Social Change



This blog site makes use of Asia as an empirical terrain to unsettle Western theories and notions of urban development. Various examples of urban policies, practices, and processes are drawn from cities across East and Southeast Asia in particular, aiming to produce critical and evidence-based analyses of the multiple and dynamic urban conditions. It is hoped that this site of public writing could invite as many people as possible to proactively reflect upon our “urban age” in question, with Asia as both an analytic unit and method.

The thematic coverage is broad and interdisciplinary, encompassing all aspects of  urban transformation in Asia. Critical in its nature, this site will present detailed analyses on themes related to the dynamic urban political economy, such as speculative urbanism, financialisation, cities of spectacle and mega-events, and the state capitalism at large. It will also pay full attention to social and spatial aspects of Asian urban change, foregrounding reports on urban/land politics, dispossession, gentrification, and cultural practices, among other issues that could present us the contested daily life in the urban process.

Posts are all written in plain English, narrating a moment of the urban process in a city (or region) in Asia. Together with detailed and authentic observations (evidence), each post also contextualises its observations in existing literature on the urban change in a way that could maintain strong audience awareness.

The site is designed to share the writings of staff and students who carry out research on and study urban Asia at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Student contributors largely come from urban Asia courses (e.g., GY438 Cities and Social Change in East Asia), who have initially produced the blog posts as part of their study assignments. In this regard, this site also serves as the venue for sharing and disseminating the pedagogical outcomes, situating students as knowledge co-producers.

Nevertheless, the site would also welcome the submission from the wider audience who have well-argued and evidence-based urban stories to share. For further information, and for details on how to submit, please get in touch with the editor.

 About the editor

Hyun Bang Shin is Professor of Geography and Urban Studies, and teaches in the Department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research centres on the critical analysis of the political economic dynamics of speculative urbanisation, the politics of redevelopment and displacement, gentrification, housing, the right to the city, and megaevents as urban spectacles, with particular attention to Asian cities. His recent books include Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement (Policy Press, 2015), Planetary Gentrification (Polity Press, 2016), and Anti Gentrification: What is to be Done (in Korean; Dongnyok, 2017). His other on-going book projects include a monograph Making China Urban (Routledge), and two co-edited volumes Contesting Urban Space in East Asia (Palgrave Macmillan) and The Political Economy of Mega Projects in Asia (Routledge).

Contact us

For any further questions about the site, please contact us:

Email: h.b.shin@lse.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6383

Address: STC 6.01f, St Clement’s Building, LSE, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, UK

How to cite

For those wishing to cite a post, here is a recommended format:

For those posts which are originally published elsewhere, please cite the details of the original post.

Creative Commons

Unless otherwise specified, all of our articles are published under a Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). This means that you are free to republish them unmodified and properly attributed, preferably with a link to the original article. Please take care with imagery, however, as items may occasionally remain under copyright.


The views expressed in the Urban Asia blog are those of the authors alone. They do not reflect the position of any of the institutions that the authors may be associated with.

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