Voids of Speculation – The uncanny ruins of failed urbanism

This research explores ghost-cities in Hanoi, Vietnam, built mostly for speculative reasons, often lingering uninhabited for a prolonged period of economic uncertainty. The dive of Vietnam in market economy in the 90’s called for a large scale restructuration of what has previously been uncontrolled rapid urbanization processes. At the beginning of the 2000s, at least 50 large satellite towns have been planned for Hanoi as a way to quench lingering housing shortages and draw real-estate profits. Bigger projects were divided in New Urban Areas projects (Khu do thi moi, KDTM). A few of these KDTM famously became ghost-cities, with owners even unable to put hands on their properties as some infrastructures remain unfinished. This research explores what happens to livability and to the urban condition when the habitat is synthesized mostly for economic efficiency, particularly in a time lapse where this performance is not even fulfilled.

Faculty Supervisor:

Martin Bressani


Olivier Jacques



Architecture and design



McGill University


Globalink Research Award

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