Sarah Moser

Sarah Moser
McGill University | McGill · Department of Geography

PhD

About

56
Publications
45,021
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
735
Citations
Introduction
I work in the Department of Geography, McGill University. In my research I am broadly interested in the ways in which power and ideology are manifested in architecture, urban policy and planning, in embodied performances, nation-building strategies, and more. My primary areas of geographical focus are Malaysia and Indonesia, and I have recently expanded my research to include Saudi Arabia, Gulf states, and Latin America. One major strand of my current research agenda is the global phenomenon of new city projects built from scratch. I have several ongoing projects relating to new cities, religion, ideology, climate change, and foreign investment.
Additional affiliations
August 2009 - July 2010
Trinity College
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (56)
Article
This article examines the gendered ways in which women community leaders in East Jerusalem experience and navigate their urban environment. We draw on the concept of ‘gray space’ as a way to think through how Palestinian women’s everyday lives are shaped by East Jerusalem as a liminal space. Gray space conveys the spectrum that stretches between ca...
Article
Full-text available
Malaysia is estimated to be one of the four largest recipients of Chinese Belt and Road Initiative investment worldwide, with China surpassing Singapore to become the largest foreign investor in Malaysia in 2016. Chinese investment in Malaysia consists largely of top-down urban mega-developments, many of which are built on reclaimed land and have f...
Article
Morocco is one of the most active countries in the world in building new cities from scratch. Nineteen new cities are presently underway across the kingdom as part of a national city-building strategy, launched to manage uncontrolled urbanization and to support economic growth. Morocco's city building is illustrative of the global trend in which st...
Article
Full-text available
Palestinian and Black activists have maintained a history of solidarity and mutual support since the 1960s, yet in recent years, this solidarity has strengthened and expanded. Joint Black and Palestinian activism against state-sanctioned violence was further energized during the 2014 Ferguson protests, when activists expanded their collaborations o...
Article
Over a dozen countries in Africa are currently constructing more than 70 new cities from scratch. There has been a recent surge of scholarship on the role of Chinese investors in urban projects in Africa, particularly as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. However, there are other powerful foreign actors from emerging economies engaged in new...
Article
Forest City is a new city project being built from scratch on four artificial islands off the coast of Malaysia by one of China's largest property developers. Designed to accommodate up to 700,000 people, Forest City is created by and for Chinese nationals as a gated, luxury enclave in Malaysia. While Forest City is built on top of Malaysia's large...
Article
In the past 2 decades, over 150 new cities built from scratch have been launched in more than 40 countries. As this trend has intensified in recent years, scholarship on new city projects has expanded significantly in exciting new directions. There is now a conceptually robust and empirically vibrant body of scholarship that critically examines new...
Article
Full-text available
The changing geographies of irregular migration require new methodological approaches and modes of researcher engagement. In and around Europe, migrants are increasingly residing in unconventional, dynamic, and diverse spaces such as informal transit camps. Along the Balkan Route, these temporary, makeshift encampments are emerging as a result of t...
Article
Over the past two decades, ‘smart’ urban mega-developments built from scratch have proliferated across the Global South. More recently, similar techno-utopian enclaves are being planned in North America, including Union Point, a smart city project south of Boston announced in 2017. We use the case of Union Point to think through why public and priv...
Article
Full-text available
Over 150 entirely new cities are currently underway in more than 40 countries and are rationalized as a meansof addressing increasingly acute urban challenges. Despite the potential of designing brand-new cities to besustainable, inclusive, and diverse, evidence suggests that they are producing social exclusions on an un-precedented scale.
Article
Over 150 entirely new cities are currently underway in more than 40 countries and are rationalized as a means of addressing increasingly acute urban challenges. Despite the potential of designing brand-new cities to be sustainable, inclusive, and diverse, evidence suggests that they are producing social exclusions on an unprecedented scale.
Article
Guided by the Buen Vivir (good living) developmental philosophy, Alianza PAIS, Ecuador’s leftist party in power since 2007, aims to ‘urbanise’ rural areas in order to decentralise economic activity and the population away from the main cities. Through a case study of a poor rural region of Ecuador, our research provides insights into how planning,...
Article
This paper explores the emerging new master-planned city-building trend on the African continent. Situating our research within urban policy mobilities literature, we investigate the 'Africa rising' narrative and representation of Africa as a 'last development frontier' and 'last piece of cake', an imaginary that provides fertile ground for the con...
Chapter
The category of “Islamic cities” is a dated and problematic term concocted by European Orientalists that essentializes Islam and generalizes a wide variety of urban typologies. This entry traces the history of the term dating back to the late colonial era, investigates the variety of ways in which the term has been challenged and deconstructed over...
Article
In this article, we draw attention to trends in land transformation in the West Bank since the Second Intifada, after which a surge of investment from Gulf countries entered Palestine, almost exclusively in the West Bank. The occupied Palestinian territories have attracted a great deal of attention from media and academics, yet the vast majority of...
Article
Full-text available
Following the decline of Montréal's manufacturing sector, shipping, and its status as Canada's banking center, a growing portion of the city's economy is tied to the knowledge economy, particularly education, arts, and R&D. With four major universities, comparatively low costs of living, lucrative creative industries, and a vibrant arts scene, in r...
Chapter
The hyper-elite events, “Cityquest KAEC Forum,” are held yearly in Saudi Arabia. Cityquest takes lessons from development initiatives in the Gulf, combining them with others, to foster optimum strategies for creating a new genre of city. Hosted by the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) – the first of Saudi Arabia’s four new cities – the event aims...
Article
Full-text available
Recent scholarship on gated communities has challenged assumptions about the homogeneity of aesthetics and motivations for enclosure, emphasizing the place-bound origins and meanings attached to exclusionary devel-opment. It has also called for a conceptual shift in classifying gated communities from the ‘hard’ boundaries of a gate or wall to more...
Article
Over the past decade, an acceleration of Chinese state and private investment in urban infrastructure and real estate has transformed many skylines around the world. In 2014, a private Chinese company in collaboration with Malaysia’s Sultan of Johor state started construction on Forest City, a private gated luxury mega-development for 700,000 peopl...
Article
Full-text available
http://www.insideindonesia.org/social-exclusion-in-a-state-urban-mega-development
Article
Full-text available
Since the implementation of decentralization policies following the fall of Suharto in 1998, Indonesia’s provinces have far greater autonomy, which they have leveraged to enhance aspects of their cultural identity. In the context of Riau Islands Province, a new province created in 2004, the pivot away from a centralized national focus has prompted...
Article
Full-text available
Many academic societies with large, international memberships are based in the United States and host annual meetings that are focal points for their respective fields. Changing rules and norms with respect to border control threaten to impact large groups of scholars, many of them trainees, who will be effectively prevented from full participation...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examines leisure activities practised in Southeast Asia, a region consisting of 11 countries. We have structured the chapter into five main sections. First, we examine the varied influences on pre-colonial Southeast Asian leisure and patterns that demonstrate the regional spread of particular activities. Second, we examine how leisure...
Article
Megacities in low- and middle-income countries face unique threats from climate change as vulnerable populations and infrastructure are concentrated in high-risk areas. This paper develops a theoretical framework to characterize adaptation readiness in Global South cities and applies the framework to Dhaka, Bangladesh, a city with acute exposure an...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In the context of the preparation of the next UN-HABITAT world conference on housing and sustainable urban development, INTA and its partners are engaged in an initiative for Habitat III - innovation at the heart of urban agenda for the next twenty years. This initiative is built around a series of international consultations. These preparatory con...
Article
Full-text available
Children in Indonesia experience the state in ways that are vastly different from any other citizen. This article explores how the bodies of schoolchildren are a key site for nation-building practices in Indonesia through an examination of two state schools in Riau Islands Province. I investigate the ways in which national identity is inculcated in...
Article
Full-text available
Since the 1990s, and especially in the wake of the 2002 social and economic crisis, there has been significant growth in the number of Argentinian grass-roots movements, NGOs, and cooperatives that focus on providing affordable housing for the urban poor. In response, the current federal government has advanced uniquely progressive housing policies...
Article
Full-text available
‘Qalam: The art of Beautiful Writing’, Birmingham Museums and art Galleries, Birmingham, UK, November 2, 2013–January 26, 2014‘How Architects, Experts, Politicians, International Agencies and Citizens Negotiate Modern Planning: Casablanca Chandigarh’, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, November 26, 2013–April 20, 2014‘Robertson: Photograph...
Article
Full-text available
This commentary responds to Ayona Datta’s article on ‘New Urban Utopias of India’, in which she examines Dholera as one of the pioneers of India’s national ‘smart city’ agenda. My response probes the roots of new cities such as Dholera, arguing that beyond their connections to post-independence new towns, they can also be understood as the descenda...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examines expressions of state Islamic identity in three new cities: Putrajaya (Malaysia), Grozny (Chechen Republic) and Masdar (United Arab Emirates). In each city, great care has been taken to evoke a sense of religiosity through architecture and planning, and each has sought a distinctive 'Islamic' style where none existed previously...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines how growing conservatism among Muslims in Malaysia has been manifested in the architecture and urban design of Putrajaya, Malaysia’s new capital. Rather than drawing on vernacular design traditions or developing a design idiom that recognises a religiously and ethnically diverse population, the state has recently adopted a fanta...
Article
Full-text available
In the early 1990s, the Malaysian government conceived of a new federal administrative capital built from a tabula rasa on former oil palm and rubber plantations called Putrajaya. It was designed to be the new home to all of Malaysia’s federal government ministries and national level civil servants, host all diplomatic activities for the country, a...
Article
New Towns and Their Enduring Interest. Britain's New Towns: Garden Cities to Sustainable Communities, by Anthony Alexander, 2009, Routledge The Other Dubai. Dubai: Behind an Urban Spectacle, by Yasser Elsheshtawy, 2009, Routledge
Article
Full-text available
In this article, I explore connections between space, the body and the nation by analyzing state-introduced leisure activities in a village in Indonesia. While leisure activities are voluntary and are more enjoyable than more formal nation-building activities, I investigate how they are politicized and intimately tied to the state's nation-building...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past two decades there has been much focus across the social sciences and humanities on issues of positionality. However, in this literature the related issue of personality has not been a consideration despite its profound ability to shape both the research process and product. This paper draws on the wide body of literature on positional...
Article
Full-text available
Indonesia. Islam and the State in Indonesia. By BAHTIAR EFFENDY. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2003. Pp. xii, 265. Notes, Bibliography, Index. - - Volume 37 Issue 1 - SARAH MOSER
Article
Full-text available
In the decade since the 1997-98 Asian economic crisis, many regions of Southeast Asia have experienced a building boom in which new suburbs, skyscrapers, 'creative' districts, high-tech zones, and even entire new cities have sprung up. While the recent construction boom has produced architecture and urbanism that can be characterised as 'global', '...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Project (1)
Project
This project provides an overview of 100 new cities being planned or under construction. The Atlas introduces the phenomenon, provides a timeline and individual entries on each new city, and includes the visualization of data on new cities. Timeline for completion is Winter 2019.