Routledge Handbook of Asian Cities  book cover
1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Asian Cities

Edited By

Richard Hu

  • Available for pre-order on April 21, 2023. Item will ship after May 12, 2023
ISBN 9781032188409
May 12, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
552 Pages 60 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $250.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This handbook provides the most comprehensive examination of Asian cities - developed and developing, large and small - and their urban development.

Investigating the urban challenges and opportunities of cities from every nation in Asia, the Handbook engages not only the global cities like Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul, and Mumbai, but also less studied cities like Dili, Malé, Bandar Seri Begawan, Kabul, and Pyongyang. The Handbook discusses Asian cities in alignment to the United Nations’ New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals in order to contribute to global policy debates. In doing so, it critically reflects on the development trajectories of Asian cities and imagines an urban future, in Asia and the world, in the post-globalisation and post-pandemic era.

Presenting 43 chapters of original, insightful research, this book will be of interest to scholars, practitioners, students, and general readers in the fields of urban development, urban policy and planning, urban studies, and Asian studies.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction  1. Urban Asia in perspective  2. Smart cities in Asia: Ambiguity, innovation, and evolution  3. Asian cities in and beyond COVID-19  4. Vulnerable resilience in COVID-19: Invisibility and adaptability of the ‘informal’ cities of Southeast Asia  5. Making liveable cities: Experiences from Asia and the Pacific  Part 2: East Asian cities  6. East Asian cities: Deindustrialisation, greening, and the new geography of urbanisation  7. Hong Kong: One city, three spatial forms, and two possible fates?  8. Pyongyang: An urban metamorphosis under the power of marketisation  9. Seoul: Pursuing and sharing a global city  10. Shanghai: New directions in Chinese metropolitan planning  11. Taipei: Towards a liveable and sustainable city  12. Tokyo: Reinventing the modern Asian metropolis through adaptive strategies  13. Ulaanbaatar: When international plans and local preferences over urban densification collide  14. Xi’an: From an ancient world city to a 21st-century global logistics centre  Part 3: South Asian cities  15. South Asian cities: Informalisation of ecological and social change  16. Colombo: From colonial outpost to indigenous kleptocratic city  17. Delhi: Rethinking Indian urbanism through the capital’s multi-nuclei development  18. Dhaka: Growth management challenges for a rapidly urbanising megacity  19. Kabul: The 21st century urbanism we did not expect  20. Karachi: Changing institutional landscapes, challenges, and reforms  21. Kathmandu Valley: Unrealised proposals, decades of urban chaos and planning for a better future  22. Malé: Decentralising the world’s densest island capital—plans, determination, and challenges  23. Mumbai: ‘Mess is more’—value and shortcomings of the city’s ad hoc development process  24. Thimphu: Tranquil, peace, and happy city of the Himalayas  Part 4: Southeast Asian cities  25. Southeast Asian cities: The imbalances of urban development  26. Bandar Seri Begawan: Why is Brunei’s capital chasing foreign dollars?  27. Bangkok: Creative disorder and the military imagination  28. Dili: Hurdles in constructing the urban from the ground  29. Ho Chi Minh City: Can it avoid the path dependence with Thu Duc City?  30. Jakarta: Seeking the sustainable megacity region  31. Kuala Lumpur: Post-Vision 2020 and post-pandemic futures  32. Manila: Aspiring to be an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable city amidst climate and disaster risks  33. Phnom Penh: Towards a post-dependency metropolisation?  34. Singapore: Planning for healthy ageing  35. Vientiane: Challenges in the policies and practices for sustainable urban development in a ‘least developed’ city  36. Yangon: Displacement urbanism, housing provisionality, and feminist spatial practices—an infrastructure of care at the urban margin  Part 5: Central Asian cities  37. Central Asian cities: Challenges in balancing global, national, and local development needs  38. Almaty: Modernisation through spatial reordering—urban networks, transport sector reforms, and Eurasianism  39. Ashgabat: The architecture as a showcase of a personal regime  40. Bishkek: Searching for Asianness in a post-Soviet city  41. Dushanbe: Urban transformation, changing spaces, and identities in Tajikistan  42. Tashkent: Aspiring for entrepreneurship and innovation hub  Part 6: Conclusion  43. The Asian city in a new urban age

View More



Richard Hu is an urban planner, designer, and critic. His work and interests—both intellectual and professional—integrate built environment, economy, and technology to tackle contemporary urban transformations and challenges, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. He is the author of Smart Design: Disruption, Crisis, and the Reshaping of Urban Spaces (2021).