Kristopher Hartley, Shahadat Hossain: Policy Development in Cities of the South

Kigamboni New City International Business Zone

Kigamboni New City International Business Zone. photo / provided

Kristopher Hartley: "The Political Economy of Urban Art in Developing Asia"

Kris Hartley is a lecturer in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University and a nonresident fellow for Global Cities at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. In the past four years, Hartley has held academic appointments at the University of Hong Kong, Seoul National University, Vietnam National University, and the University of the Philippines. With more than a decade of public and private sector experience, Hartley has also worked with central and local government agencies in the U.S., New Zealand, and Thailand; research institutes in Japan, China, South Korea, and Singapore; and community development corporations in California. He has consulted on a variety of topics including urban growth strategies, transport planning, earthquake recovery, and infrastructure asset management. His current research engagements address domestic resource mobilization for economic development in Africa (through Peking University), urban water resource management in Hong Kong and southern China (through the Institute of Water Policy), economic integration in ASEAN (through National University of Singapore), and urban growth and revitalization in Asia. Hartley holds a Ph.D. in public policy from the National University of Singapore and a master of city planning from the University of California–Berkeley.


The transition from an industrial to a knowledge economy is impacting urban growth across Asia. To revitalize disinvested neighborhoods, many cities strive to harness the intangible qualities of art districts to attract professionals in knowledge industries. However, the underlying development philosophies often favor top-down policy intervention over collaboration, leading to failed growth visions and displacement of artists by commercial development. This trend is an opportunity to examine civil society agency through the lens of government-corporate-society interactions. Two cases, Mullae in Seoul, Korea, and Angono in Rizal, Philippines, exhibit distinct but related approaches to government intervention for urban revitalization. The findings contribute to literature about state-society relations within the Asian urban political economy.

Shahadat Hossain: "Power, Negotiation, and Politics: My Experience of International Development Planning in Dar es Salaam and Dhaka"

Shahadat Hossain's research and teaching examine power and politics in planning and urban citizenship practices in the Global South. More specifically, he is interested in urban informality, urban poverty, inequality, spatial (in)justice, and ethnographic approaches to urban (planning) research. His research explores the relations between citizenship claims and regulations, the translation of (western) planning ideals into planning institutions and practices in the South, and the global/local contestations that now define our cities. Within the past eight years, Hossain has completed several research projects in Tanzania, Ghana, and Bangladesh, and cooperated with a large body of researchers from Europe, Africa, and Asia. He has taught at several universities in Germany, Iraq, and Bangladesh. He has also worked in development organization and planning consultancy.

Hossain received a B.A. in urban and regional planning from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (2003), an M.A. in development management from the Ruhr University Bochum (2006), and a Ph.D. in spatial planning from the University of Technology Dortmund (2012).


Shahadat Hossain's talk will be about the planning negotiations in Bangladesh and Tanzania. In reference to a state-led housing project in Dhaka and a current urban redevelopment project in the form of a 'new city project' in Dar es Salaam, he will present the contextual power relations, the conditioning of planning negotiations, and their spatial meanings. He will explain how these planning negotiations involve strategies like manipulation of relations, (re)definition of authority, and targeted creation and violation of planning institutions. These planning decisions, he argues, have little relation to the contextual problem and realities. In the later part of his talk, he will present how these planning decisions, despite their contextual detachment, get their way through involving the power of interpretation, selectivity, and cross-referencing. The talk may be useful for those who are interested in power, politics, and planning in the global South.

Sponsored by City and Regional Planning
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