Land Politics and Livelihoods on the Margins of Hanoi, 1920-2010
In the late 1990s, planning authorities in the Vietnamese capital ofHanoi pushed the imaginary line between city and country severalkilometres westward, engulfing dozens of rural settlements. As statepolicies forced rapid urbanization, villagers whose families had farmedthe land for generations saw rice fields levelled, irrigation canalsfilled, and large avenues flanked by residential towers, big-boxstores, and office buildings spring up. Danielle Labbé considers acentury of change to the settlement of Hoa Muc – a community thatunderwent a rapid transition from rural village to urban neighbourhood.Through extensive research in the community, Labbé studies not only thechanging lives of villagers, but also the state regulations andterritorialization projects that drove these changes on the outskirtsof Hanoi, and the early urban changes in the decades that preceded thereforms and continue to influence the area’s urbanization.Despite the new buildings, the end of farming activities, and thearrival of a large new population, the former villagers still considerHoa Muc their homeland. The compelling story of this single village isboth a portrait of a population that has endured despite drasticupheavals and a new analytical window onto Vietnam’s ongoingurban transition.
This study of a natural village within Hanoi will appeal to students of urbanization in Southeast Asia in many academic disciplines. Using the concept of peri-urbanization as a subset of the broader concept of urban-regional change, this detailed inquiry illuminates the fascinating changes that have unfolded in Hoa Muc over time, with important implications for further study and future policy making.
A thorough and valuable analysis of shifting relationships between state and civil society in periurban Vietnam.
1 The Early Urban Transition (1920-40)
2 Uneven Socialist Revolutions (1940-65)
3 Eating by Points and Coupons Is Not Enough(1965-80)
4 The New Urban Territorial Order (1980-2010)
5 Land for Fresh Ghosts, Land for Dry Ghosts
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