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The micropolitics of speculative green urbanism at Forest City, Iskandar Malaysia

Koh, Sin Yee, Zhao, Yimin and Shin, Hyun Bang ORCID: 0000-0002-1103-9221 (2021) The micropolitics of speculative green urbanism at Forest City, Iskandar Malaysia. Geography and Environment Discussion Paper Series (21). Department of Geography and Environment, LSE, London, UK.

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There is an established urban studies literature on the discursive politics of green urbanism, especially with regards to eco-cities and (mega) greenfield developments. However, less attention has been paid to the micropolitics of cross-border transplantation of green urbanism ideas and practices, especially within Asia. This paper examines the case of Forest City, a mainland Chinese developer-led mega greenfield project in the Iskandar Malaysia special economic corridor, to be built on four reclaimed islands. Based on observations, in-depths interviews with local stakeholders and document analysis, we analyse the different ways in which green urbanism has been used by the local state and the developer as an apparatus for speculative city-making. On the one hand, the state seeks to position Iskandar Malaysia as greener than its global competitors through the development of a homegrown "low carbon society" green accreditation system. On the other hand, the (selectively) "green and smart" Forest city consolidates the developer's corporate brand image and marketing aesthetics at the cost of local residents' living environment. Attention to such entangled micropolitics of speculative green urbanism contextualises different stakeholders' rationales and practices and contributes to critical reflections on the entanglement of green urbanism and speculative urbanisation.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2021 10:00
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:20

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