The Real Estate Turn in Asia’s Urban Politics
This chapter defines ‘urban real estate megaprojects’ as large, integrated, master planned, and commercially driven real estate developments that seek to fundamentally transform the urban fabric. It analyses the implications of the proliferation of such projects across Asia for theories of neoliberalization, arguing that an analysis of the trials and travails of such projects, and their eventual outcomes, helps shed light on the role that historically formed institutions and socio-political dynamics (property rights, state landownership, customary claims to land) play in shaping the ways that market oriented modes of governance do or do not take root in a given setting. The chapter further deploys Neil Smith’s concept of the rent gap as a tool to interpret when and where state actors have sought to transform urban space through strategies of land monetization.
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