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Research Seminars & Workshops @ IRES

Prof Zhu Jieming
Department of Real Estate, NUS

The danger of involution in Asian urbanization


14 March 2012, Wednesday


3.00pm - 5.00pm


RMI Executive Seminar Room
21 Heng Mui Keng Terrace, Level 4


The seminar is composed of three cases. It is observed that in association with rising population density, urban land is used intensively in many Asian cities, but land "productivity" remains low and unable to meet the increased demand. Therefore, there is the danger of involution in Asian urbanization.

Land development for nonagricultural uses in China's peri-urban areas has been driven by the rapid urbanization which has made the areas an intense mixture of urban and rural activities. Induced by the institution of incomplete and ambiguously delineated collective land rights, stakeholders compete for land rent differentials derived from land use change. Spatially uncoordinated land conversion and disorganized physical development result in substandard, inferior, and deteriorating habitations. Land utilization becomes suboptimal, and land rents dissipate as a result. The Jakarta and HCMC cases have demonstrated the impact of land rights situations the commons and the anti-commons on the land development market. The co-existence of the anticommons and the commons results in the under-utilization of scarce land resources and over-consumption of scarce environmental amenities, and the combination of the two constitutes a mechanism that induces a vicious cycle continuously degenerating urban environment, reducing social equity, and locking the city in an unsustainable form which exacerbates housing shortages and land scarcity.

For full papers, download here /images/icon/zip_icon_small.gif

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