Experiencing the largest wave of urbanisation in human history, a majority of Asia’s overall population will be living in urban areas by 2030. Effective urban management is needed to address the unparalleled growth of Asian megacities. Creating a balance between benefits and costs of urbanisation with a view to improving the quality of urban life is becoming increasingly important.

Consisting of over 120 researchers with affiliations at numerous institutes in Europe, Asia and the United States, UKNA represents the largest global academic network on Asian cities. UKNA's ambition is to be an inclusive network that brings together concerned scholars and practitioners, from different countries and disciplines, engaged in collaborative research on cities in Asia. Through its varied activities, UKNA studies how Asian cities as organic socio-spatial entities can manage their space and improve their liveability.

One of its key objectives is the nurturing of contextualised and policy-relevant knowledge on Asian cities. The network seeks to influence policy by contributing insights that put people at the centre of urban governance and development strategies, with “human flourishing in Asian cities” as its vision.