1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Asian Cities

Edited By Richard Hu Copyright 2023
    546 Pages 60 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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-sustainable, post-global, 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.

    Part I: Introduction

    1. Urban Asia in perspective

    Richard Hu

    2. Smart cities in Asia: Ambiguity, innovation, and evolution

    Hoon Han

    3. Asian cities in and beyond COVID-19

    Kh Md Nahiduzzaman and Md Moynul Ahsan

    4. Vulnerable resilience in COVID-19: Invisibility and adaptability of the ‘informal’ cities of Southeast Asia

    Amanda Achmadi and Sidh Sintusingha

    5. Making liveable cities: Experiences from Asia and the Pacific

    Bambang Susantono, Ramola Naik Singru, and Lara Arjan

    Part II: East Asian cities

    6. East Asian cities: Deindustrialisation, greening, and the new geography of urbanisation

    Shahid Yusuf

    7. Hong Kong: One city, three spatial forms, and two possible fates?

    Mee Kam Ng et al.

    8. Pyongyang: An urban metamorphosis under the power of marketisation

    Pavel P. Em

    9. Seoul: Pursuing and sharing a global city

    Yu-Min Joo

    10. Shanghai: New directions in Chinese metropolitan planning

    Richard Hu

    11. Taipei: Towards a liveable and sustainable city

    Chia-Huang Wang

    12. Tokyo: Reinventing the modern Asian metropolis through adaptive strategies

    Carola Hein

    13. Ulaanbaatar: When international plans and local preferences over urban densification collide

    Aldarsaikhan Tuvshinbat, Raven Anderson, and Michael Hooper

    14. Xi’an: From an ancient world city to a 21st-century global logistics centre

    Xiangming Chen and Ziming Li

    Part III: South Asian cities

    15. South Asian cities: Informalisation of ecological and social change

    Johannes Dragsbaek Schmidt

    16. Colombo: From colonial outpost to indigenous kleptocratic city

    Nihal Perera

    17. Delhi: Rethinking Indian urbanism through the capital’s multi-nuclei development

    Pilar Maria Guerrieri

    18. Dhaka: Growth management challenges for a rapidly urbanising megacity

    Shilpi Roy

    19. Kabul: The 21st century urbanism we did not expect

    Pietro Calogero

    20. Karachi: Changing institutional landscapes, challenges, and reforms

    Noman Ahmed

    21. Kathmandu Valley: Unrealised proposals, decades of urban chaos and planning for a better future

    Rajjan Chitrakar

    22. Malé: Decentralising the world’s densest island capital—plans, determination, and challenges

    Mariyam Zulfa

    23. Mumbai: ‘Mess is more’—value and shortcomings of the city’s ad hoc development process

    Matias Echanove and Rahul Srivastava

    24. Thimphu: Tranquil, peace, and happy city of the Himalayas

    Leishipem Khamrang

    Part IV: Southeast Asian cities

    25. Southeast Asian cities: The imbalances of urban development

    Rita Padawangi

    26. Bandar Seri Begawan: Why is Brunei’s capital chasing foreign dollars?

    Victor K. S. Ong

    27. Bangkok: Creative disorder and the military imagination

    Ross King

    28. Dili: Hurdles in constructing the urban from the ground

    Joana de Mesquita Lima and João Pedro Costa

    29. Ho Chi Minh City: Can it avoid the path dependence with Thu Duc City?

    Du Huynh

    30. Jakarta: Seeking the sustainable megacity region

    Christopher Silver

    31. Kuala Lumpur: Post-Vision 2020 and post-pandemic futures

    Keng-Khoon Ng and Tim Bunnell

    32. Manila: Aspiring to be an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable city amidst climate and disaster risks

    Emma Porio and Justin See

    33. Phnom Penh: Towards a post-dependency metropolisation?

    Gabriel Fauveaud and Dolorès Bertrais

    34. Singapore: Planning for healthy ageing

    Belinda Yuen

    35. Vientiane: Challenges in the policies and practices for sustainable urban development in a ‘least developed’ city

    Thanousorn Vongpraseuth

    36. Yangon: Displacement urbanism, housing provisionality, and feminist spatial practices—an infrastructure of care at the urban margin

    Giovanna Astolfo

    Part V: Central Asian cities

    37. Central Asian cities: Challenges in balancing global, national, and local development needs

    Madina Junussova, Saniya Soltybayeva, and Rameesha Khan

    38. Almaty: Modernisation through spatial reordering—urban networks, transport sector reforms, and Eurasianism

    Henryk Alff and Wladimir Sgibnev

    39. Ashgabat: The architecture as a showcase of a personal regime

    Slavomír Horák

    40. Bishkek: Searching for Asianness in a post-Soviet city

    Emil Nasritdinov

    41. Dushanbe: Urban transformation, changing spaces, and identities in Tajikistan

    Tahmina Inoyatova

    42. Tashkent: Aspiring for entrepreneurship and innovation hub

    Farrukh Irnazarov and Madina Junussova

    Part VI: Conclusion

    43. The Asian city in a new urban age

    Richard Hu


    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).