Transnational speculations on urban land


© N. Aveline Dubach / CNRS / Géographie-cités


25 September 2023, Monday
9:30 – 17:30
Université Gustave Eiffel
Bâtiment Bienvenüe
salle 003 (main auditorium)
77447 marne-la-vallée cedex 2

Open access, no registration required



There are indications that real estate, infrastructure, and megaprojects are increasingly – albeit selectively – assembled, designed, and produced at the global scale via diverse financial instruments. Natacha Aveline Dubach, CNRS professor at the CNRS and researcher at Géographie-cités Laboratory, will highlight the growing role of Singapore real estate as a ‘safe deposit box’ for the capital of Chinese and Hong Kong entrepreneurs. The contributors to this one-day conference will discuss the extent to which new forms of globalized, financialized, rent-intensive urbanisms revise our understanding of some of the key notions in urban political economy such as urban land rent, growth coalitions, or the urban commons. Speakers involve the members of the URBAN-REV POLITICS research team, supported by an ERC Starting Grant Action, who will share their findings as well as distinguished scholars of urbanism, whose work stretch across real estate studies and critical urban studies. We will examine a broad range of topics including speculative urbanism, financialization, and all the frictions thereof including outright contestations.


9:00-9:30 Coffee & snacks

9:30-10:00 Introduction by Ozan Karaman

10:00-11:15 Panel 1 Real estate markets: places and mediations (moderator: Martine DROZDZ) Eliza BENITES-GAMBIRAZIO, Antoine GUIRONNET, Chris MIZES

11:15 – 11:30 Coffee break

11:30 – 12:45 Panel 2 Making cities investor ready (moderator: Ozan Karaman) Martine DROZDZ, Sinan ERENSÜ, Mathilde MOATY

12:45 – 14:30 Lunch Break

14:30 – 15:45 Panel 3 Assetization of the urban (moderator: Eliza BENITES-GAMBIRAZIO) Ludovic HALBERT, Renaud LE GOIX, Callum WARD

15:45 – 16:00 Coffee break

16:00 – 17:15 Panel 4 Speculative urbanism across borders (moderator: Sinan ERENSÜ) Natacha AVELINE, Michael GOLDMAN, Adèle ESPOSITO

17:15 – 17:30 Conclusion

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Natacha Aveline Dubach

The research of Natacha Aveline Dubach focuses on the political economy of real estate, particularly in North-East Asia (Japan, Hong Kong, China). She has explored the relationships between land/real estate cycles, government policies, and the socio-material forms of the built environment (including funeral artefacts) in several urban regions. Her recent research addresses the financialization of real estate and land value capture mechanisms applied to railway infrastructure.
She is also the Lead PI of the French-Singaporean SPACE project which analyses the risk factors and sociospatial patterns of infectious diseases (dengue and COVID-19) in Singapore’s urban environment. This project is co-led by Shirley Ho at NTU and funded by the Singapore National Research Foundation under the Create Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise.