I am an urban studies scholar interested in the production of space and the political economy of Asian cities. My work looks at inter-Asian and late-socialist connections of urban development in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, commonly known as Saigon.
I hold a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning with a designated emphasis in Global Metropolitan Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow of Regional Social and Cultural Studies at the Yusof Ishak Institute of Southeast Asian Studies where I examine the multiple meanings and practices of urban infrastructure in Saigon.
My current book project, Reform Capital: Hedging Saigon’s Urban Futures, is an ethnographic examination of late-socialist reform practices that facilitate different flows of transnational capital into real estate development projects in the city. As alternative models of the world class city proliferate in Saigon, my research applies insights from planning, geography and anthropology with a focus on transnational connections forged by urban capital and expertise in property development. My work looks at how these configurations interact, challenge and recombine norms of global governance, addressing debates on development in authoritarian contexts, the practices of “good governance” that have become central to policy and institutional reform, and the urban condition where informal state practices under late socialism have produced staggering rates of urban economic growth.