UKNA (Urban Knowledge Network Asia) is an inclusive network that brings together concerned scholars and practitioners engaged in collaborative research on cities in Asia. Consisting of over 100 researchers from 17 institutes in Europe, China, India and the United States, the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA) represents the largest academic international network on Asian cities. UKNA’s objective is to nurture contextualised and policy-relevant knowledge on Asian cities, seeking to influence policy by contributing insights that put people at the centre of urban governance and development strategies.

Between 2012-2016, the network benefited from an grant from the EU enabling extensive research staff exchanges between its partners, focusing on China and India. The success of the UKNA synergy has encouraged the network’s partners to carry on its activities, among others, expanding its orientation to include urban development in Southeast Asia in the framework of the South East Asian Neighborhoods Network programme (2017-2020).  

UKNA objective
The UKNA Objective is to nurture knowledge on Asian cities. This will be achieved via research staff exchanges and targeted case study based research, pursuing three avenues of inquiry:


This research theme explores competing ideas of the contemporary city from historical perspectives to illuminate the continuities and ruptures in the process of city making.
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This theme examines who are the actors and how they interact in the production, shaping, contestation and transformation of the city. It explores the relations between human flourishing and the making of urban  space and form, with a particular concern for the rights of residents and users in the process. Read full document (PDF)


 This theme considers the challenges of urban dwellers and users in the areas of land, housing, infrastructure, services, planning and the environment, personal well being (including livelihoods and human capital), and “life spaces” (comprising culture, urban heritage, public spaces, and associational life). Read full document (PDF)

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