Youth Perspectives: Navigating and Negotiation Top-Down Urban Change in Hanoi, Vietnam


Student Projects
8 September 2021

Madeleine Hykes

Department of Geography, McGill University, Montréal, Quebec


Supervisor: Sarah Turner

Read the full thesis here.

Since the introduction of the Đổi Mới reforms in 1986, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has

undergone a series of major shifts across social, political, and economic spheres. Today, top-down

actors, such as the one-party state and private firms, are shaping the capital city of Hanoi to fit

with ideals of a ‘modern’ and ‘global’ cityscape with little or no prior public consultation. This

research focuses on how rapid urbanization within a fairly authoritarian context is impacting one

cohort: youth. As such, this research aims to investigate how youth (18 to 32), in Hanoi, Vietnam

perceive, interact with, and negotiate the built environment they are set to inherit. Based on

qualitative fieldwork conducted in Hanoi in the summer of 2017, my research analyzes how this

generation of youth is responding to rapid urban change through engaging in forms of everyday

politics and in the production of urban spaces that fit their needs.

Key words: hybrid urbanization, youth, post-socialist urban landscapes, Hanoi, everyday politics