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Beyond variegation: the territorialisation of states, communities and developers in large-scale developments in Johannesburg, Shanghai and London

Robinson, J; Wu, F; Harrison, P; Wang, Z; Todes, A; Dittgen, R; Attuyer, K; (2022) Beyond variegation: the territorialisation of states, communities and developers in large-scale developments in Johannesburg, Shanghai and London. Urban Studies: an international journal for research in urban studies 10.1177/00420980211064159. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Large-scale urban development projects are a significant format of urban expansion and renewal across the globe. As generators of governance innovation and indicators of the future city in each urban context, large-scale development projects have been interpreted within frameworks of “variegations” of wider circulating processes, such as neoliberalisation or financialisation. However, such projects often entail significant state support and investment, are strongly linked to a wide variety of transnational investors and developers and are frequently highly contested in their local environments. Thus, each project comes to fruition in a distinctive regulatory context, often as an exception to the norm, and each emerges through complex interactions over a long period of time amongst an array of actors. We therefore seek to broaden the discussion from an analytical focus on variegated globalised processes to consider three large-scale urban development projects (in Shanghai, Johannesburg and London) as distinctive (transcalar) territorialisations. Using an innovative comparative approach we outline the grounds for a systematic analytical conversation across mega-urban development projects in very different contexts. Initially, comparability rests on the shared features of large-scale developments – that they are multi-jurisdictional, involve long time scales, and bring significant financing challenges. Comparing three development projects we are able to interrogate, rather than take for granted, how wider processes, circulating practices, transcalar actors, and territorial regulatory formations composed specific urban outcomes in each case. Thinking across these diverse cases provides grounds for rebuilding understandings of urban development politics.

Type: Article
Title: Beyond variegation: the territorialisation of states, communities and developers in large-scale developments in Johannesburg, Shanghai and London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/00420980211064159
Publisher version: https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/journal/urban-stu...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Large-scale urban development; urban politics; financing; state-community relations; developers; comparative urbanism
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Planning
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10140124
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