Emerging Civic Urbanisms in Asia
Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, and Taipei beyond Developmental Urbanization
Amsterdam University Press
In parts of Asia, citizens are increasingly involved in shaping their neighbourhoods and cities, representing a significant departure from earlier state-led or market-driven urban development. These emerging civic urbanisms are a result of an evolving relationship between the state and civil society. The contributions in this volume provide critical insights into how the changing state–civil society relationship affects the recent surge of civic urbanism in Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, and Taipei, and the authors present eighteen cases of grassroots activism and resistance, collaboration and placemaking, neighbourhood community building, and self-organization and commoning in these cities. Exploring how citizen participation and state–civil society partnerships contribute to more resilient and participatory neighbourhoods and cities, the authors use the concept of civic urbanisms not only as a conceptual framework to understand the ongoing social and urban change but as an aspirational model of urban governance for cities in Asia and beyond.
Im Sik Cho is Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at the National University of Singapore. Her research addresses the challenges and opportunities that Asian cities face focusing on the social dimension of sustainable development. Her publications include Community-Based Urban Development: Evolving Urban Paradigms in Singapore and Seoul (2017).
Blaz Kriznik is Associate Professor of urban sociology at the Graduate School of Urban Studies, Hanyang University in Seoul. He is the co-founder and researcher at the Institute for Spatial Policies in Ljubljana. His research is focused on comparative urban studies, urban social movements and Korean studies.
Jeffrey Hou is Professor of Landscape Architecture and director of the Urban Commons Lab at the University of Washington, Seattle. His work focuses on public space, democracy, community design, and civic engagement with collaborative publications including City Unsilenced: Urban Resistance and Public Space in the Age of Shrinking Democracy (2017).
Shiau Ching Wong has a multidisciplinary research background in social movements, media sociology and political communication. She obtained her PhD from the University of Melbourne, and has published on activist communication in East Asian contexts. Her current research includes the community heritage and civic technology movements in Singapore and Taiwan.
Mee Kam Ng is Professor and Vice-chairman of the Department of Geography and Resource Management, the Director of the Urban Studies Programme and Associate Director of the Institute of Future Cities at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is a fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners, the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Academy of Social Science in the UK.
Liang-Yi Yen, PhD is Chair and Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Fu-Jen Catholic University in Taipei. His research interests include heritage preservation politics, cultural geography, community planning, and urban social movement. He is frequently and proactively engaged in multiple heritage preservation movements and anti-eviction movements in Taipei.
Melissa Cate Christ is a researcher at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Uppsala) and University of New South Wales, an instructor at University of Technology Sydney and University of New South Wales, a registered landscape architect (Ontario), and the founding director of transverse studio. She has a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from St. John’s College.
Hendrik Tieben is Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research focuses on public space, placemaking, and community empower_x0002_ment, and was published in a range of international journals. Since 2013, he has developed the project series ‘Magic Carpet’, which engages residents in the co-creation of community spaces.
Su Kim holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Seoul National University. Her research interests include urban studies, community development, and civic engagement in urban planning. She is currently involved in the 2040 Seoul Plan research team at the Seoul Institute.
Taehee Lee is Associate Research Fellow at the Construction and Economy Research Institute of Korea. He received his PhD in Town and Regional Plan_x0002_ning from the University of Sheffield. His research is focused on economic, physical, and political aspects of urban regeneration, including property development, multisectoral partnership, and community involvement.
Sukyoung Han is Associate Research Fellow at the Architecture & Urban Research Institute in Korea. She received her PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Seoul National University. Her research is focused on various issues of urban space, including shrinking cities, vacant properties, and pedestrian environments.
Jan H M. Lim is Co-founder and Director of Research and Strategy at Participate in Design (P!D), a Singapore-based non-profit organization that champions citizen involvement in design and planning processes. She is a doctoral researcher at the Department of Architecture (Planning & Development research unit) at KU Leuven, Belgium.
Larry Yeung is currently Executive Director of Participate in Design (P!D). Since his Master’s of Architecture degree at the National University of Singapore, Larry’s portfolio of participatory-based works has expanded to include neighbourhood planning, public space design, and community art installations, working in partnership with grassroots organizations, civic groups, and government agencies.
Pieter Van den Broeck is Associate Professor of Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development in the Department of Architecture at KU Leuven, where he leads the Planning & Development (P&D) research unit. His research includes planning instruments, social innovation, and territorial development, governance of socioecological systems, and land policies and commons.
Cecilia L. Chu is an urban historian and associate professor in the Division of Landscape Architecture at the University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on the economic and cultural processes shaping the built environment. Her publications include Building Colonial Hong Kong: Speculative Development and Segregation in the City (2022).
Marta Catalán Eraso is an architect and urban designer. Currently, she is an instructor at the Open University of Catalonia. She completed her PhD in the Division of Landscape Architecture at the University of Hong Kong, where she was a faculty member. Her research examines urban segregation and unequal living conditions.
Huiying Ng’s research practice explores rural-urban agricultural learning networks. She is an initiator of the Foodscape Collective, and part of the Soil Regeneration Project and soft/WALL/studs. She is a doctoral researcher on the ‘Environing Infrastructures’ Freigeist Fellowship project at the Rachel Carson Centre for Environment and Society in Munich, Germany.
Monika Rutis a researcher and practitioner interested in sustainable food systems, transitions, and cultural and social change. Her research explores grassroots innovations and sustainable food transitions. She received a PhD from Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin and she is a co-founder of Virtuale Switzerland, an augmented reality art festival.
Vivian Lee’s social artistry brings people together to explore meaningful ways of being. Through a trauma-informed approach to community-building, mindful eating and somatic practices, her nature-based work focuses on healing and regeneration. She co-created Garden of L.E.A.H. – a consciousliving practice space in Chiang Mai, and Foodscape Pages in Singapore.
Chingwei Chen is an Australia-based permaculturist and conscious bon vivant whose preoccupation with beauty in the natural world and good-tasting produce has led to explorations and experiments in food growing, off-grid living, landcare, and house and product design. More recently, she is co-leading a Foodscape Collective community food scrap composting project.
Marcus Koe is an urban farmer based in Singapore who passionately pursues expertise in designing ecological food gardens, urban composting systems, small-scale production farming, permaculture inspired regenerative so_x0002_lutions, and community-supported agriculture. He also freelances as a food garden designer and tutor, and consults on other small-scale farming projects.