Exploring the Identity of the 21st Century Asian City in a Globalised World
The 21st century will witness a spectacular transformation and resurgence of Asia to positions of global importance. In this context, decisions made by Asian countries today, will influence the economic, political and social development of the world. However, with an increasingly globalised world, a rapid rise in prominence, unprecedented levels of urban growth and a period of cultural and social renaissance, Asian countries and in particular cities located in these countries are faced with many fundamental, multifaceted and interconnected challenges that threaten the sustained growth of these cities.
How can these cities address these challenges and remain on the path towards economic growth and development?
The answer lies in finding new and unique solutions through new research approaches that provide more integrative understanding and holistic insight that can better inform and enable appropriate action.
This is what NUS Global Asia Institute aims to achieve through its core research. Through a number of projects that explore the identity of the 21st century Asian city, the core research aims to answer some fundamental questions.
What is a 21st Century Asian City? How is it different from earlier cities?
In order to answer this question, NUS-GAI core research focuses on challenging the meaning of the term ‘Asian Cities’ and attempts to provide alternative definitions of the identity of the ‘Asian City’. Through the development and use of non-western centric concepts and ideas, the fundamental shift (if any) in the identity of Asian cities in the 21st century is explored.
How does it evolve? What are the political, social and economic changes involved in its evolution?
If it is believed that Asian cities in the 21st century have fundamentally changed, the next step would be to understand the process of evolution and to identity the institutional changes that made this evolution possible.
What are the implications of this change on health, education, resource use, science and technology?
In order to ensure the sustained economic growth of Asian cities and to preserve their place of importance, it is vital for these cities to develop their natural, human and physical resources. Among other things, public health and education requirements, resource use patterns, climate change implications need to be understood and adequately addressed. Science and technology needs to keep pace with the rapid changes and cultural development is vital.