The Fall of the Hong Kong Dream : New Paths of Urban Gentrification in Hong Kong

Iam-chong IP

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In recent years some scholars (Butler, 2003, 2007; Hamnett, 2003, 2009, 2010)
have attempted to portray gentrification as a gradual process of class replacement and post-industrialization.1 Their view contrasts to the long-standing literature on gentrification concerning about the issues of class displacement and socio-spatial justice (Glass, 1964; Ley, 1996; Rose, 1984; Smith, 1996, 2000, 2002). The proponents of this revisionist take on gentrification decouple the concept of gentrification from class conflict by portraying an evolutionary process – the increasing population of middle class in the cities caused by deindustrialization and the expansion of financial and service sectors. The imperatives to capital accumulation and class inequalities no longer figure in their narratives of gentrification. A handful of East Asian scholars also endorses this attendant capitalist triumphalism. They see urban gentrification in cities such as Shanghai and Singapore as beneficial projects launched and managed by urban states and the private sector for the purpose of improving citizens’ quality of life (Hogan et al., 2012; Li and Song, 2009). The rise of the new middle class and proliferation of desires for an elite way of urban life have subsequently shaped a clean-sweep approach to urban redevelopment
for urban mega-projects (Wang and Lau, 2009).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDevelopmentalist Cities? Interrogating Urban Developmentalism in East Asia
EditorsJamie Doucette, Bae-Gyoon Park
ISBN (Electronic)9789004383609
ISBN (Print)9789004339484
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

I would like to thank Jamie Doucette and Bae-Gyoon Park for comments and suggestions. This work has been supported by the Early Career Scheme sponsored by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (Project no.: 23600616)


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