Whither progressive urban futures? Critical reflections on the politics of temporality in Asia

Hyun Bang Shin, Yimin Zhao, Sin Yee Koh

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Compressed development experiences, especially in Asia, have translated into expectations for ‘fast cities’ where time and space are compressed to materialise ‘real’ Asia experiences. However, what does ‘fast urbanism’ mean for those who see Asian cites as reference points? Moreover, what does ‘fast urbanism’ mean for those who have living memories of such fast-paced development, and how might this be different for their future generations? This intervention addresses these two questions by reflecting on the politics of temporality, calling for critical attention to the ideological imposition of ‘fast’ development in Asia and beyond. We argue that the ‘Asian speed’ of development was enabled in specific historical and geographical conjunctures, which entailed the appropriation of individual and collective aspirations through the invention of a certain kind of futurity and, in so doing, consolidated local politico-economic structures that displace both the present and the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-254
Number of pages11
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Asia
  • condensed development
  • embodied temporality
  • fast urbanism
  • urban futures
  • urban politics

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