Not available in 2023/24
GY438 Half Unit
Urban Asia: Cities and Social Change
This information is for the 2023/24 session.
Prof Hyun Shin
This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, MA in Asian and International History (LSE and NUS), MBA Exchange, MSc in China in Comparative Perspective, MSc in City Design and Social Science, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Environmental Policy, Technology and Health (Environment and Development) (LSE and Peking University), MSc in Human Geography and Urban Studies (Research), MSc in International and Asian History, MSc in Local Economic Development, MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies, 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.
The number of students able to be accommodated is limited. If the course is over-subscribed, places will be allocated at the Department’s discretion and a waiting list may be created. For further details, please contact your relevant Programme Coordinator
This is an interdisciplinary urban course that encourages students to develop a critical understanding of how urban space is transformed in diverse social, economic and political settings, and what social implications are made upon the powerless and the poor. Examining the process of socio-spatial transformation in times of condensed urbanisation and economic development, this course makes use of Asia as an empirical site to unsettle Western notions of urban development. Various examples of urban policies and practices will be drawn from cities across East and Southeast Asia, with emphasis on newly industrialised capitalist economies as well as transitional economies such as mainland China.
Focusing on urban questions in particular, the course comprises of lectures and seminars on the following themes:
- the political economy of urbanisation;
- the politics of land;
- global gentrifications;
- displacement and dispossession;
- cities of spectacle and mega-events;
- urban social movements
Students will also have opportunities to view and discuss various sources of audiovisual materials and documentaries related to these themes.
In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live online lectures, in-person lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities.
This course is delivered through a combination of seminars, workshops and lectures across Lent Term.
This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Lent Term.
Students are expected to complete one essay plan for their assessed essay and blog.
Chen, Y.-L. and Shin, H.B. (eds.) Neoliberal Urbanism, Contested Cities and Housing in Asia. Palgrave Macmillan;
Chua, B.H. (2017) Liberalism Disavowed: Communitarianism and State Capitalism in Singapore. Cornell University Press;
Doucette, J., and Park, B.-G. (2019) Developmentalist Cities? Interrogating Urban Developmentalism in East Asia. Brill;
Haila, A. (2016) Urban Land Rents: Singapore as a Property State. Wiley Blackwell;
Lees, L., Shin, H.B. and Lopez-Morales, E. (2016) Planetary Gentrification. Polity Press;
Roy, A. and Ong, A. (eds.) (2011) Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global. Blackwell;
Wu, F. (2015) Planning for Growth: Urban and Regional Planning in China. Routledge
Abbas, A. (1997) Hong Kong: Culture and the Politics of Disappearance, University of Minnesota Press;
Allen, J.R. 2012) Taipei: City of Displacements, University of Washington Press;
Forrest, R., Koh, S.Y. and Wissink, B. (eds.) (2017) Cities and the Super-rich: Real Estate, Elie Practices and Urban Political Economies. Palgrave Macmillan;
Glassman, J. (2018) Drums of War, Drums of Development: the Formation of a Pacific Ruling Class and Industrial Transformation in East and Southeast Asia, 1945-1980. Brill Press;
Harvey, D. (2016) The Ways of the World. Profile Books;
Labbé, D. (2014) Land Politics and Livelihoods on the Margins of Hanoi, 1920-2010. UBC Press;
Lees, L., Shin, H.B. and Lopez-Morales, E. (Eds.) (2015) Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement, Policy Press;
Mathews, G. (2011) Ghetto at hte Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong, The University of Chicago Press;
Hsing, Y-t. (2010) The Great Urban Transformation. Oxford University Press;
Park, S.H., Shin, H.B. and Kang, H.S. (eds.) (2021) Exporting Urban Korea? Reconsidering the Korean Urban Development Experience. Routledge;
Seng, L.K. (2013) Squatters into Citizens: The 1961 Bukit Ho Swee Fire and the Making of Modern Singapore. NUS Press;
Simone, A. (2014) Jakarta: Drawing the City Near. University of Minnesota Press;
Smart, A. (2006) The Shek Kip Mei Myth: Squatters, Fires and Colonial Rule in Hong Kong, 1950-1963. Hong Kong University Press;
Sorensen, A. (2002) The Making of Urban Japan: Cities and Planning from Edo to the Twenty-first Century. Routledge/Curzon
Coursework (30%, 1500 words) and essay (60%, 3000 words) in the ST.
Class participation (10%) in the WT.
Coursework (30%) refers to a blog piece. Students are to submit regular reading responses via Moodle as part of class participation. Further details will be included in the course guide.
Student performance results
(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)
|Classification||% of students|
Department: Geography and Environment
Total students 2022/23: 39
Average class size 2022/23: 19
Controlled access 2022/23: Yes
Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (LT)
Value: Half Unit
Course selection videos
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Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Specialist skills