Reference : Historische Geographie Phnom Penhs: Stadtentwicklung zwischen Planung und spontaner O...
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Human geography & demography
Arts & humanities : History
Business & economic sciences : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Historische Geographie Phnom Penhs: Stadtentwicklung zwischen Planung und spontaner Ordnung, 1860-2010
[en] Historical Geography of Phnom Penh: City Development between Planning and Spontaneous Order
Kolnberger, Thomas mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
University of Luxembourg, ​Walferdange, ​​Luxembourg
University of Passau, ​Passau, ​​Germany
Docteur de l'lUniversité du Luxembourg en histoire / Doktor der Universität Passau in Südostasienkunde
Korff, Rüdiger mailto
Lehners, Jean-Paul mailto
Husa, Karl mailto
Chilla, Tobias mailto
Schiel, Tilman mailto
Franz, Norbert mailto
[en] Phnom Penh ; Historical Geography ; City Development ; Urban Morphology ; Social Engineering ; Political Economy ; Production of Space ; Retail ; French Indochina ; People's Republic of Kampuchea ; Khmer Rouge ; Cambodia
[en] This thesis offers an analysis of Phnom Penh`s urban space in the longue durée, examining the concurrence of planning ‘from above’ and spontaneous order ‘from below’. By privileging the spatial point of view, the investigation attempts to overcome the false dichotomy of ‘planned’ versus ’unplanned’ order in urban development. Using Phnom Penh as a case-study for city development in a pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial context, the production of space as a social process is identified in two ways: first ‘literally’ by a historical-critical analysis of the chronological course of urban construction based on archival records and, second, ‘visually’ by scrutinizing master and city plans as well as photographical veduta (i.e. aerial and satellite photography, photos of cityscapes or other relevant urban situations) of past and present. Structure: The thesis consists of five chapters (A-E), organised in three parts (Erster, Zweiter, Dritter Teil). After an introductory chapter (A), dealing with the research topic in general, the first part (chapters B-C) of the investigation follows a morphological approach. It presents the local building and historical town planning traditions of the lower Mekong region in pre-historical times onwards, analysing the pre-colonial times, followed by the French colonial era. The second part (chapter D) deals with the local development during the Cold War, subdivided in two distinct phases: the independence of decolonization (1954-1970s) and the civil war and Khmer Rouge-time (1970s-1989). The third part (chapter E) specifically examines the situation after the fall of the Pol Pot-regime: the ‘new’ independence after the Vietnamese and UN-intervention. The appendix is ex-tensive, but ‘tailor-made’ providing datasheets and detailed background information, e.g. on climate, to allow the interested reader to further deepen some topics. Research questions: Three questions run like a thread through the thesis as recurrent themes:
(1) To what extent is the city development a ‘planned’ or ‘unplanned’ process, and which interactions between the two dynamics can be discerned?
(2) What power politics from ‘above’ and ‘below’ make up the political economy of space?
(3) What kind of continuities and discontinuities can be identified as persistency and change in the cityscape? Social engineering projects ‘from above’ (by diverse governments and power groups) have continuously been challenged, partly evaded and actively counteracted in their own interest ‘from below’ (by the ‘common man’, informal settlers), thus characterizing the social space of Phnom Penh as a ‘common field of action’ (gemeinsamer Aktionsraum). Since colonial times, the physical engineering of space (aligning the urban morphology into a grid-pattern; dividing the city space in [marketable] plots) has been both a transfer from abroad and a quasi-continuity of local proceedings in urban construction. From thispoint of view the transformation of the royal residence-town into a colonial city and the subsequent change from a colonial administration centre of lesser importance within the French Indochinese Union to a dominant capital city of an independent state are revealing a complex pattern of competing interests of all ‘spatial’ actors: rich and poor, mighty and weak, officials and individuals, military and civilian, singles and families.
Attempts of social engineering by the use of the built environment and the imple-mentation of physical change to it, however, have also been producing ‘frictions’ (Friktionen) ever since. As result, a third degree of order, besides the intended and non-intended, has emerged: epiphenomena (Epiphänomene; Phänomene der dritten Art). The self-organisation through the ‘auto-agglomeration’ of businesses during the resettlement process after the fall of the Khmer Rouge is examined as an example for this kind of spatial (re)ordering. Concluding the longue durée-analysis of Phnom Penh, the spatial distribution is analysed and presented in full detail as economy of espionage and imitation in chapter (E). Methodology: In order to achieve the primary object of this undertaking to write a historical geography of the production of Phnom Penh’s space, a multidisciplinary approach was necessary, combining historical-critical analysis (Historisch-kritische Methode); geography (spatial analysis, urban morphology) and sociology (questionnaires and interviews, ‘observing participation’). The very heterogeneous mixture of archival sources and newly generated data that informs this study required a reflexive grounded theory.
University of Luxembourg - UL
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Rezensionen / Reviews (in German Journals) of the printed version (book: Zwischen Planung und spontaner Ordnung - Stadtentwicklung von Phnom Penh 1860 bis 2010) ..................................................................... „Die Stadtgeschichte und –geografie Phnom Penhs leistet in allen Bereichen einen unverzichtbaren Beitrag und bietet eine in weiten Teilen höchst informative und leserliche Gesamtdarstellung.“

Daniel Bultmann in Internationales Asienform 45,3-4 (2014) 437-439.

„Die vorliegende Publikation umfasst den Zeitraum von 1860 bis 2010, den Schwerpunkt bildet dabei die Phase der französischen Protektoratsherrschaft: Es liegt erstmals eine ausgesprochen informative und durch die Auswertung bisher nicht zugängliches Quellen- und Archivmaterial auch höchst verdienstvolle historisch-geographische Gesamtdarstellung Phnom Penhs vor, die in absehbarer Zeit kaum übertroffen werden dürfte.“

Helmut Schneider in Südostasien – Zeitschrift für Politik-Kultur-Dialog 1 (2015), 64-65.

„Der Autor analysiert fächerübergreifend die Stadtentwicklung Phnom Penhs. Hier liegt ein Grundlagenwerk zur (Stadt-)Planung in bester geosystematischer Herangehensweise vor.“

Fabian Thiel in Erdkunde – Archive for Scientific Geography 69, 2 (2015), 196-197

„Das Buch ist in jedem Fall lesenswert, da es das erst umfassende Werk zur Stadtentwicklung Phnom Penhs ist und damit einen Ausgangspunkt für weitergehende Forschung auf diesem Gebiet bietet. Aufgrund des interdisziplinären Ansatzes ist die Arbeit neben Asienwissenschaftlern außerdem auch für Wissenschaftler der Sozialwissenschaften, Architektur, Geographie, Politikwissenschaft und Geschichte relevant.“

Sebastian Tobginski in Asien – The German Journal on Contemporary Asia 135, April (2015), 112-113.

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