Urban Asia in perspective

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides an overview of urban Asia and raises important questions and contextual and methodological issues in studying Asian cities. It compares urban Asia within both Asian and global contexts to present a panoramic understanding of Asia’s urban development as a whole and by countries and regions. Asia, despite the speed and scale of its urbanisation and economic growth in recent decades, remains a ‘developing’ continent. It lags behind the developed world in critical indicators; within Asia, its development is insufficient, unbalanced, and diversified. The chapter outlines the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and New Urban Agenda, aligning them to the dominant imperative of urban sustainability, which is further complicated by the global and pandemic circumstances. The chapter offers a conceptual framework that interlinks the current forces of sustainability, globalisation, and COVID-19 and externalises them into a broad contextualisation of change, uncertainty, and disruption for capturing ‘Asianness’ in an evolving Asian urbanism. The vastness, complexity, and ambiguity of urban Asia require a cohesive but open approach to the indigeneity of Asian cities. The chapter explains the rationale and necessity for a comprehensive, up-to-date, and inclusive study of Asian cities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Routledge Handbook of Asian Cities
EditorsRichard Hu
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781003256533
ISBN (Print)9781032188409
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2023


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