Name: Sirma Altun
Home Institute: Department of Political Economy, University of Sydney
Duration of Stay: Oct. 2021 - Mar. 2022
Research Project: Smart City Formation in Taiwan in the 2000s



Sirma Altun completed her PhD at the Department of Political Economy, The University of Sydney in March
2021. Her thesis is titled The Production of Space in Hong Kong and Taipei: Socio-Spatial Struggles over Global City
and builds on the field of spatial political economy. In May 2021, She received the Institute of
Australian Geographers Award for Dissertation Excellence. Her PhD track record also includes awards
such as Chinese University of Hong Kong Global Scholarship Programme for Research Excellence
(2018) and Frank Stilwell Award in Political Economy (2020).

Her thesis addresses scholarship on city branding and the production of built environment to uncover
the particularities of Hong Kong and Taipei’s global city formation in the 2000s. The main contribution
is to highligh the role of state, at multiple scales, for the production of global space in both cities. From
an unconventional research angle in global city studies, she also critically engage with public housing
provision in Hong Kong and Taipei in the 2000s in her thesis. This way, she problematize the uneven
distribution of socio-spatial resources over global city formation. Finally,she explore the contradictions
and contestations among multiple and differentiated claims to urban space to provide a more nuanced
understanding of Hong Kong and Taipei’s global city formation.

Currently, she is working on a post-PhD research project on the spatial political economy of smart city
formation in Taiwan and she is actively involved in the Past & Present Reading Group at Sydney
University. In this group, she led the discussion and wrote a commentary on Henri Lefebvre’s classic
Production of Space, please see: https://www.ppesydney.net/henri-lefebvre-the- production-of-space/.