A distinctive feature of life in contemporary Asia is the striking pace of urban development and transformation. From Seoul to Mumbai, new megaprojects are remaking the face of the Asian megacity. Asianists who travel to the region regularly are struck by the dizzying, often bewildering, changes and frequently attest to the shock at encountering spaces that were once vibrant semiformal or informal residential areas being remade into shopping malls, business districts, and new urban zones over the scant span of a few years. Luxury and Rubble by Erik Harms offers firsthand insight into the processes through which urban spaces in Asia are remade and, in so doing, chronicles the everyday life of the subjects who inhabit these spaces before and after they are transformed: first to rubble, then to luxury.

Luxury and Rubble chronicles the creation of new urban zones in rapidly developing Vietnam. The book takes an innovative approach...

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