Not available in 2015/16
GY438      Half Unit
Cities and Social Change in East Asia

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Hyun Shin S601F


This course is available on the MSc in China in Comparative Perspective, MSc in City Design and Social Science, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Human Geography and Urban Studies (Research), MSc in Local Economic Development, MSc in Real Estate Economics and Finance, MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies, MSc in Social Policy and Development, MSc in Social Policy and Development: Non-Governmental Organisations, MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Urbanisation and Development. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course encourages students to develop their critical knowledge and comparatively understand how urban space is transformed in different social, economic and political settings, and what social implications are made upon the powerless and poor. In order to examine the process of social and spatial transformation in times of compressed urbanisation, the course will draw on various examples of urban policy and practice from cities across Asia, with emphasis on newly industrialised economies in East and Southeast Asia as well as on mainland China.

Focusing on urban questions in particular, the course comprises of lectures and seminars on the following themes: speculative urbanisation; the role of the state; urban growth politics; land politics and real estate; mega-projects; gentrification; displacement; the right to the city and urban struggles; financialisation. Students will also have opportunities to view and discuss various sources of audiovisual materials and documentaries related to these themes.

Course Facebook page:


10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the MT. 1 hour of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

One formative essay (1,500 words) on which individual feedbacks will be provided.

Indicative reading

B-G. Park et al (Eds) Locating Neoliberalism in East Asia: Neoliberalizing Spaces in Developmental States, 2012; Andrusz et al (Eds), Cities after Socialism, 1996; JR Logan and HL Molotch, Urban Fortunes: The Political Economy of Place, 1987; SS Fainstein, The City Builders, 2001; L Lees et al, Gentrification, 2008; F Wu (Ed), China's Emerging Cities: The Making of New Urbanism, 2007; R Forrest and J Lee (Eds), Housing and Social Change: East-West Perspectives, 2003; Y-t Hsing, The Great Urban Transformation, 2010; L Lees, HB Shin and E López-Morales (Eds), Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 3000 words).

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 14.1
Merit 51.3
Pass 26.9
Fail 7.7

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 86.2%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)