Contact person:
Hoai Anh Tran
  • Riksbankens jubileumsfond
Responsible at MaU:
Hoai Anh Tran
Time frame:
01 September 2022 - 31 August 2023
Research environment :
Research subject:
  • Urban Studies
  • Urban development Urban development in the Global South

About the project

The aim of the project is to complete and synthesise my collected research on urban space production in Hanoi with a focus on the synergies and tensions between state modernisation projects and bottom-up initiatives by individuals and groups, particularly those of the urban poor.

My research elaborates and expands upon the notion of state-led versus people-led urbanisation proposed by McGee (2009), and highlights the role of ‘informal’ initiatives in the production of affordable housing and infrastructures, as well as in the shaping of urban and housing policies.

The project purposes:

  1. to investigate recent bottom-up space production initiatives at Hanoi’s urban periphery to supplement my previous research with new typologies of people-led developments,
  2. to synthesise my collected research with new findings in order to provide a rich chronological account of the typologies of people-led developments through different phases of Hanoi’s development from the 1980s to the present.


The goal of the synthesis work is to compile material into an edited book that highlights the spatial and political agency of the urban poor, the negotiating character of the relationship between state and society, and the crucial role played by informal processes in Vietnam’s urbanisation. The sabbatical application includes two research stays at research centres that focus on Asian research, at the City University of Hong Kong and the University of Washington, Seattle respectively.