The Speculative City: Emergent Forms and Norms of the Built Environment

Edited by Cecilia L. Chu and Shenjing He

© 2021

The Speculative City explores property speculation as a key aspect of financialization and its role in reshaping the contemporary built environment. The book offers a series of case studies that encompass a range of cities whose urban fabrics have undergone significant transformation in recent years.

While the forms of these developments shared many similarities, their trajectories and social outcomes were contingent upon existing planning and policy frameworks and the historical roles assumed by the state and the private sector in housing and welfare provision. By paying close attention to the forces and actors involved in property development, this book underscores that the built environment has played an integral part in the shaping of new values and collective aspirations while facilitating the spread of financial logics in urban governance. It also shows that these dynamics represent a larger shift of politics and culture in the ongoing production of urban space and prompts reflections on future trajectories of finance-led property speculation.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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Quick Overview

By attending to the divergent forces and actors involved in property development in different geopolitical contexts, The Speculative City illustrates both the novelty and historical continuity of urbanization in the twentieth-first century.

The Speculative City: Emergent Forms and Norms of the Built Environment

Edited by Cecilia L. Chu and Shenjing He

© 2021

The Speculative City explores property speculation as a key aspect of financialization and its role in reshaping the contemporary built environment. The book offers a series of case studies that encompass a range of cities whose urban fabrics have undergone significant transformation in recent years.

While the forms of these developments shared many similarities, their trajectories and social outcomes were contingent upon existing planning and policy frameworks and the historical roles assumed by the state and the private sector in housing and welfare provision. By paying close attention to the forces and actors involved in property development, this book underscores that the built environment has played an integral part in the shaping of new values and collective aspirations while facilitating the spread of financial logics in urban governance. It also shows that these dynamics represent a larger shift of politics and culture in the ongoing production of urban space and prompts reflections on future trajectories of finance-led property speculation.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Cecilia L. Chu is an associate professor in the Division of Landscape Architecture at the University of Hong Kong.


    Shenjing He is professor and associate dean in the Faculty of Architecture at The University of Hong Kong.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction: Financialization, Speculation, and the Production of the Urban Built Environment
    Cecilia L. Chu, University of Hong Kong and Shenjing He, University of Hong Kong

    Section I  Mega Projects and Speculative Urban Development
    1. Property Speculation, Neo-liberalism, and Urban Outcomes
    Susan Fainstein and Johannes Novy
    2. The Financialization of Urban Redevelopment: Speculation and Public Land in Porto Maravilha, Rio de Janeiro
    Mayra Mosciaro, Alvaro Pereira, and Manuel B. Aalbers
    3. From Spectacular to Speculative Gulf Cities: A Tale of Doha and Dubai
    Ali A. Alraouf

    Section II  Reconfiguring the State: The Politics and Pragmatics of Speculation 
    4. Making a Creative Shanghai and the Politics of Speculative Urban Development
    Yupeng Zhang and Shenjing He
    5. Urbanization as Mass Speculative Event: Informal Finance and City-making in Ordos, Inner Mongolia
    Max Woodworth
    6. El Quinon: Corruption and Speculative Development in the Spanish Economic Crisis
    Marta Catalan Eraso and Cecilia L. Chu

    Section III  Forms and Norms of Speculative Housing
    7. Commercial and Residential Property Development in London
    Christopher Hamnett
    8. Regulating Subdivided Housing in Hong Kong? Interplay between Speculative Landlords, Tenants and Government Agencies
    Mandy Lau
    9. Contradictions of State and Household Investments in Public Housing in Singapore
    Chua Beng Huat

    Afterword
    Alan Smart

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