How do formerly agrarian households and rural migrants living in peri-urban villages use and manage urbanizing space? What might tensions over land use tell us about the discourses and practices that reconfigure contemporary urban landscapes? This eighteen-month study of Hanoi's peri-urban transformations examines the construction of cities through everyday practices, urban master plans, heritage protection, and diverse political activities. It uses ethnography to assess the ways in which enduring urban and rural histories, as well as land conflicts, factor into grand strategies for building and cultivating "urban civility" as well as for defining heritage in Hanoi. The project will employ qualitative methods of semi-structured interviews, oral histories, participant observation, archival work, and land use mapping to document land dispossession and conversion Me Tri village in the western peri-urban edge of Hanoi. This empirical case study will be used to determine the role of strong state institutions, global capital, affect, and various informal practices in mega-city development in Vietnam and in other post-socialist contexts.