As part of our Urbanisation, Planning and Development Seminar Series, Dr Sin Yee Koh, Senior Lecturer in Global Studies at the Monash University Malaysia, is to give a talk on 4 March at 1 pm GMT. Dr Koh is also a PhD alumna in Human Geography and Urban Studies in the Department of Geography and Environment, LSE.

The talk entitled “The interurban migration industry: Migration products and urban speculation at Iskandar Malaysia” examines the nexus between speculative urbanism and transnational investment/lifestyle migration as intertwined processes.

Check out the full schedule and Zoom link here:

Iskandar Malaysia is an urban conurbation and development region located at the Malaysia-Singapore border. State-led development of this regional economic corridor has attracted inflows of foreign investments and spurred the rise of mid- to high-end urban developments by foreign developers. This has resulted in the emergence of an interurban migration industry consisting of intermediary entities that are co-developing and co-marketing ‘migration products’ (real estate, education, and lifestyle migration) as an integrated package to middle-class, aspiring transnational investor/lifestyle migrants from the region. This paper argues that this middleman industry is crucial to the materialisation of urban speculation, for state actors and investor/lifestyle migrants alike. Through interurban alliances that capitalise on the broader state-led speculative urbanism landscape, the industry co-creates an imagined urban future that is grounded in transnational lifestyle mobilities. This paper highlights the need to analyse speculative urbanism and transnational investment/lifestyle migration as intertwined processes. 

Sin Yee Koh