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Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Miss Hung-Ying Chen, MSc

Research Postgraduate (PhD) in the Department of Geography
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 41801
Room number: Christopherson Annexe

Contact Miss Hung-Ying Chen (email at


I am a PhD candidate at the Department of Geography in the meantime working with the International Tribunal on Evictions and Taiwan Alliance of Anti-Forced Eviction. Prior to my PhD in Durham, I acquired the PhD candidate at the Graduate Institute of Building and Planning, National Taiwan University (2011-2014), volunteered with Taiwan Alliance for Victims of Urban Renewal (2010-2014); and worked with Asian Regional Exchanges for New Alternatives based in South Korea (2008-2010). 

Current Research

Working title: Living in the Urban Air Rights Regime in Taipei Metropolitan Area

My current research project studies the commodification and marketization of air rights through examining various spatial instruments. These spatial instruments share the same rationale that utilises air rights (or commonly known as ‘development rights’) as the virtual credit to finance the production of urban spaces. This project examines how the exchange and assembling of air rights reshape the built environment. Through following the air rights, it explores the intersections across research fields such as vertical/volumetric urbanism, financialization of the urban, and the biopolitics which evolves around air rights economy.

This project anticipates constructing a comprehensive study on the financialization of the urban by the following three-fold. First, through a series of detailed case studies of Urban Taipei, it will explain what has fuelled the high-rise booms in ordinary cities in East Asia. Second, the project studies the transplantation of diverse spatial instruments and argues that the spatial metrics that run through these spatial instruments - ‘air rights’ - deserves a critical review to its feature as a debt instrument in the financialization process. Third, the project uncovers the transformations and contestations cultivated in the urban neighbourhoods that influenced by the urban air rights regime.

Recent Conference Papers

‘Quaking’ the Property Relations: The Volumetric Finance for the Shareholding Homeowners, International Workshop on Volumetric Urbanism, The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, May 26th-28th, 2017.

Cashing in on the Sky: The Instrumentation of Air Rights in Taipei Metropolitan Area, 2017 Annual Meeting of American Association of Geographers, Boston, MA, United States, April 5th-9th, 2017.

All that is Air Forged into Solid: Monetisation of Urban Ecosystem ServicesRGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2016, London, September 1st-2nd, 2016.

Spatial Commensurability: Air Rights Market in Devising the Built Environment, Critical Perspectives on Urban Infrastructure Workshop, London, June 13th-17th, 2016.

Assembling Air Rights –a Method to Spatializing Financialisation in the Urban, The 1st FinGeo Global Seminar ‘Placing Finance in Urban and Regional Development’, Beijing, China, August 21st-25th, 2016.

Is supervised by