Knowledge, creativity and the city

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Fundamental shifts have occurred in Southeast Asia’s cities since the decolonization process gained momentum in the mid-20th century. Accelerating rural-urban migration, an explosion in the population in informal employment, the growth in informal settlements and the expansion of industry were significant. Beginning in the 1990s, a global knowledge economy began to attract attention (e.g. Castells 1991). Although its spread is uneven across the region, it has begun to bring about some small but interesting shifts in the way in which people live and work in urban Southeast Asia (Menkhof, Evers, Wah and Fong 2011; Asian Development Bank 2014a, 2014b). The pace and depth of change is highly uneven, being more evident in larger cities, and in those countries with advanced manufacturing and modern services oriented economies. Nevertheless, it challenges the way we conceptualize, theorize and think about Southeast Asia’s cities.

    With the sole exception of cities in Thailand, Southeast Asia’s cities all experienced periods of colonial control. The emerging postcolonial cities diverged, driven by socialist governments in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, a strong and recurring military presence in Myanmar and Thailand, and strengthening market-based economies in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines,Brunei Darussalam and Timor Leste...
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Urbanization in Southeast Asia
    EditorsRita Padawangi
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-56288-9
    ISBN (Print)978-1-138-68159-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • South East Asia
    • Postcolonial cities
    • Decolonization


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