The Rise of Progressive Cities in Asia in a Global Urban Age
Invitation to Seminar
by Professor Mike Douglass
15.30 PM - Introduction
15.35 – 16.15 PM - The Rise of Progressive Cities in Asia in a Global Urban Age
16.15 – 17.00 PM - Questions & Answers
17.00 PM – Drinks at the Brasserie of the Faculty Club
Abstract The Rise of Progressive Cities in Asia in a Global Urban Age
Asia’s rapid urban transition is adding a new level of governance below the level of the nation-state as cities are fast becoming the locus of public decision making over a broad array of concerns about human well-being and livelihoods, environmental sustainability, and social life. Cities are also becoming more socially and culturally diverse, magnifying issues of inclusion in a global age of rising inequalities and high levels of economic and political turbulence. In this context, even within the same national setting, local governments exhibit strikingly different capacities to contribute to human flourishing for all who reside in cities. More specifically, as political reform in Asia proceeds with elected local government appearing in previously authoritarian political settings, progressive urban governments are selectively rising from political coalitions that are able to go beyond populist platforms to successfully pursue policies of redistribution, inclusion and creative engagement of residents in the life of the city. This presentation explores 5 questions about the rise of progressive cities in Asia:
(1) what is a progressive city
(2) what are the drivers of the rise of progressive cities
(3) how are they formed in specific cases
(4) in what ways are they being effective (or not
(5) what are their prospects for the future? The research is just now beginning in 5 cities in Asia, and the audience is invited to contribute to our concepts and approaches to research.
Mike Douglass is Professor and Leader of the Asian Urbanisms Cluster at the Asia Research Institute and Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, where he teaches and does research on cities in Asia. He is Emeritus Professor of Urban Planning and former Director of the Globalization Research Center, University of Hawaii. His Ph.D. is in Urban Planning from UCLA. He has been a consultant on urban policy and planning for major international development and donor agencies as well as national and local governments in Asia. His current research focuses on three areas: the vernacular city, spaces of hope, and disaster governance in Asia. Recent books include: Globalization, the Rise of Civil Society and Civic Spaces in Pacific Asia Cities; Connected Cities: Histories, Hinterlands, Hierarchies and Networks; and Building Urban Communities: The Politics of Civic Space in Asia.