This book explores urban transformation in East Asia, focusing in particular on the rapid transformation of old and dilapidated neighbourhoods in East Asian cities. Drawing on detailed empirical fieldwork conducted in Seoul and Beijing, including case studies of redevelopment neighbourhoods and interviews with government officials, real estate developers and local residents, it explores the different approaches to urban transformation that have been adopted. It shows how despite social, economic and political differences between cities, urban transformation has come to depend heavily on the participation of real estate developers and property owners for their successful implementation. It describes how property-based interests have formed partnerships to revalue under-valued neighbourhoods and make way for higher priced dwellings and higher income residents, which in turn has left many low-income families facing the demolition of and displacement from their neighbourhoods. It assesses the reasons behind the rise of developer-led renewal, and considers the benefits and costs accruing to all the affected parties. It concludes by drawing implications for public policy, arguing that urban transformation has not had benign outcomes for all, and that stronger government intervention is necessary to safeguard the interests of existing residents in dilapidated neighbourhoods.
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Hyun Bang Shin is Visiting Research Fellow, Asia Research Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science. He is also CASE Associate, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, STICERD Research Lab, London School of Economics and Political Science.
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