In the shadow of state-led gentrification: The commercialisation of residential properties in Seoul
This talk examines the rise and deepening of gentrification in Seoul, South Korea, as an urban accimulation strategy promoted by a (neoliberalising) developmental state. By examining the contemporary history of Seoul’s urban redevelopment, I put forward arguments that are two-fold. Firstly, I argue that the rise of new-build gentrification from the 1980s is an endogenous process embedded in Korea’s highly speculative urban development processes. Secondly, the recent emergence of ‘commercial gentrification’, and its critiques,reflects the shifting dynamics of state-society relations that give voice to commercial tenants, and changes to the conventional urban accumulation strategies established under Korea’s ‘urban developmentalism’. I conclude by discussing the legal achievements South Korea has witnesseed recently to secure the right of commercial tenants, and their contributions, albeit limited, to building a more progressive urban society in South Korea.
Hyun Bang Shin is Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre (SEAC), and Professor of Geography and Urban Studies in the Department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Hyun Bang’s research centres on the critical analysis of the political economy of urbanisation with particular attention to cities in Asian countries such as Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea and China. His research themes include the politics of displacement; gentrification; real estate speculation; the right to the city; mega-events as urban spectacles. His most recent project on circulating urbanism has also brought him to work on Ecuador.
Hyun Bang has published widely in major international journals and contributed to numerous books on the above themes. His most recent books include Planetary Gentrification (Polity Press, 2016) and Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement (Policy Press, 2015). Other forthcoming books include Neoliberal Urbanism, Contested Cites and Housing in Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) and The Political Economy of Mega Projects in Asia (Routledge).
Personal web: http://urbancommune.net
This event is organized with support from The Academy of Korean Studies