Profile of Mr Elton Chan Lund University

Elton Chan

Elton is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology at Lund University, Sweden. He has a background in urban studies and architecture. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from IIT (US) and a MSc in City Design and Social Science from LSE (UK). He has worked in a number of design and architecture practices in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Stockholm.

General research interests

My main research areas mostly lie within the interdisciplinary fields of urban studies, urban sociology and critical urban theory. I am particularly interested in the production and practice of public spaces. Other interests include spatial justice, territorial stigmatisation, gentrification and urban commons.

PhD/Postdoctoral Research Title

The Last Urban Frontier: Commodification of Public Space and the High Line Effect

PhD Abstract

In my research on the commodification of public space and the High Line effect, I set out to examine the linkages between the globalising political economy and the production of public space under neoliberal capitalism. By developing a critical and theoretical framework of commodification of public space and studying such process in different empirical case studies, I will outline the socio-spatial impacts of commodifying public spaces and investigate how the process is encoded in public space practice. This interdisciplinary research will add to the existing studies of the privatisation and commercialisation of public space within the field of urban studies, and may be of interest to urban sociologists and critical geographers studying the political economy and social production of public space, as well as officials, practitioners and the general public who are involved in public space design and practice.