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The risky business of real estate developers: network building and risk mitigation in London and Johannesburg

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Recent work on financialization in urban political economy and economic geography has highlighted real estate developers as a point of analysis for understanding urban governance and ongoing urban restructuring. This paper contributes to this literature by showing how an analytical entry point focused on risk mitigation can help better understand the position of developers in urban governance. In doing so, we call for more geographically sensitive understanding of real estate risk and its influence on developers’ strategies in specific places. Building on two examples from Johannesburg and London, this paper highlights the different roles developers assume as knowledge coalition builders, political actors and community builders to counter threats to the implementation of their projects.
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Keywords: Real estate developers; risk; urban governance; urban policy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, University College London, London, UK 2: Urban Institute, University of Sheffield, UK

Publication date: January 2, 2020

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