Postdoctoral work (2014-2015)
Project title: Alpha-Territoriality and the Super-Rich in Hong Kong and London: The Socio-Economic Implications of Transnational Real Estate Investment by the Super-Rich
Funding: ESRC-RGC HK Bilateral Research Grant
Project team members: Bart Wissink, Ray Forrest
Rapidly rising income inequality and highly visible elite spaces for the super-rich (i.e. high net worth individuals) in certain global cities have seen a corresponding increase in academic, policy, and popular attention since the early-2000s. Through analyses of spatial data, news articles, as well as 24 qualitative interviews with super-rich individuals and key informants in intermediary services (e.g. concierge services, private jets and yachts, fine art, real estate investments, financial and wealth management, etc.), this team project comparatively examines the ways the super-rich invest and live in Hong Kong and London. Besides offering comparative empirical insights on the real estate practices and spatial practices of urban elites in these two cities, this research also contributes towards current debates on structural inequality, the globalisation and financialisation of residential real estate, and relevant urban policies (such as housing, immigration, citizenship, and tax).
Publications and other outputs from this project
- Forrest, R., Koh, S.Y., & Wissink, B. (Eds.) (2017) Cities and the Super-Rich: Real Estate, Elite Practices and Urban Political Economies. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ‘The Contemporary City’ Series.
- Koh, S.Y., & Wissink, B. (2018). Enabling, Structuring and Creating Elite Transnational Lifestyles: Intermediaries of the Super-Rich and the Elite Mobilities Industry. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(4), 592-609. [limited free e-print here]
- Forrest, R., Koh, S.Y., & Wissink, B. (2017) In Search of the Super-Rich: Who are They? Where are They? In R. Forrest, S.Y. Koh, & B. Wissink (Eds.) Cities and the Super-Rich: Real Estate, Elite Practices, and Urban Political Economics (pp. 1–18). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Wissink, B., Koh, S.Y., & Forrest, R. (2017) Tycoon City: Power and Privilege in Hong Kong. In R. Forrest, S.Y. Koh, & B. Wissink (Eds.) Cities and the Super-Rich: Real Estate, Elite Practices, and Urban Political Economics (pp. 229–252). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Forrest, R.., Koh, S.Y., & Wissink, B. (2017) Hyper-Divided Cities and the ‘Immoral’ Super-Rich – Five Parting Questions. In R. Forrest, S.Y. Koh, & B. Wissink (Eds.) Cities and the Super-Rich: Real Estate, Elite Practices, and Urban Political Economics (pp. 273–287). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Koh, S.Y., Wissink, B., & Forrest, R. (2016). Reconsidering the Super-rich: Variations, Structural Conditions, and Urban Consequences. In I. Hay & J. Beaverstock (Eds.) Handbook on Wealth and the Super-Rich (pp. 18- 40). Cheltenham; Norhampton, MA: Edward Elgar.
Conference papers & presentations
- Koh, S.Y., & Wissink, B. (2017). Exacerbating Inequalities and Socio-Spatial Segregation in Hong Kong: Spotlight on the Invisible and Invisibilised Labour of Intermediaries. International Conference on Polarisation, Fragmentation and Resilience: Four Urban Contexts Compared. Hong Kong Baptist University, 29 Nov–1 Dec.
- Koh, S.Y., Wissink, B., & Forrest, R. (2015) Urban Elites in Hong Kong: From Colonial Spaces to the 1% City. Association for American Geographers (AAG) 2015 Annual Meeting, Chicago, USA, 21–25 Apr.
- Cities and the Super-Rich, 15-16 Jan 2015, City University of Hong Kong (with R. Forrest and B. Wissink)