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asian urbanisms cluster
Asian Urbanisms Cluster
  • The Asian Urbanisms Cluster explores Asia’s diverse urban experiences historically, contemporaneously, and toward the future.  It seeks to contribute to theory and applied research on society-space relationships in the built environment and city life from local to global scales, in diverse contexts in Asia, and through comparative studies with other world regions. 
  • Avenues for research include (but are not limited to):
  • The Vernacular City, including urban heritage, by and for its residents
  • Spaces of Hope - urban aspirations, discontents, insurgencies, and alternative development in cities and through social media, and through participatory city-making
  • Disaster Governance in an age of urban transitions and global climate change.
cluster members july 2012 2013
Cluster Members July 2012-2013
  • Active Members
  • Prof Mike Douglass (Cluster Leader, 50% ARI)
  • A/P Tim Bunnell (Leader, FASS Cities Cluster; 30% ARI)
  • Dr Peter Marolt (Research Fellow)
  • Dr Nausheen Hafeeza Anwar (Research Fellow from Fall 2012)
  • Dr Rita Padawangi (Senior Research Fellow from Jan 2013)
  • Dr Michelle Miller (Research Fellow) (on leave to July 2013)
  • Dr. Asha Pandi (from June 2013)
  • Dr. Marco Garrido (from July 2013)
  • Supporting Members
  • Prof Chua Beng Huat  (Provost Chair, Sociology)
  • Prof Gavin Jones (Director, JY Pillay Comparative Asia Research Centre)
  • Prof Brenda Yeoh (Dean of FASS; Head of ARI Migration Cluster)
  • Visiting Senior Research Fellows
  • Prof David Strand, Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science and East Asian Studies at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. 3 months from May 2013. Research on Singapore’s Green Corridor
  • Prof Nicholas Phelps, Professor of Urban and Regional Development at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London. Research on urban policy, Indonesia.
  • AUC Associate Faculty
  • A/P HO Kong Chong, Sociology
  • A/P Johannes WIDODO, SDE
  • Dr CHANG Jiat Hwee, SDE
  • Dr Daniel GOH, Sociology
  • Dr Kelvin LOW, Sociology
  • Dr POW Choon, Geography
  • Dr. Yumin Joo, LKYSPP
  • Prof Jane Jacobs, Yale NUS
  • Dr Stephan Cairns, Future Cities Lab NUS
auc research streams from july 2012 march 2014
AUC Research Streamsfrom July 2012-March 2014

The Vernacular City

Urban heritages and living cultures expressed through place-making by people who reside in a city.

vernacular city events 2012 2013
Vernacular City Events 2012-2013
  • Seminar:Urban Regeneration through Socially Inclusive Planning
  • Dr. Liling Huang, National Taiwan University.Dec. 2012
  • The Vernacular City and Urban Heritage
  • A series of workshops, conferences, research projects and publications in cooperation with IIAS/UKNA (Leiden). Taipei Oct 2012, Delft Nov 2012, Macau June 2013, NUS July 2013.Mike Douglass and Rita Padawangi.
spaces of hope
Spaces of Hope
  • Active neighborhoods and communities in city-making
  • Civil society-state-economy in urban political life
  • Civil insurgencies, the right to the city and social justice
  • Grassroots projects & alternative development
  • Social media in urban spaces
spaces of hope1
Spaces of Hope

Projects and Events 2012-2013

  • Projects
  • Cyber China: Making Space for Change.
  • Completion May 2014. Peter Marolt
  • Mera Karachi Mobile Cinema (Pakistan).
  • Dec 2012–July 2013. Nausheen Anwar
  • Individual research projects on social media and political change in Asia
  • Events
  • Global Insurgencies – (Re)making the Public City in Asia.3-4 December 2012.
  • NUS and LKYSPP. Mike Douglass, Peter Marolt, Rita Padawangi
  • Localizing Cosmopolis in a Global Age: The City at the Grassroots in East & Southeast Asia. ICAS 8, Macao, P.R. China. 24-27 June 2013.
  • Panel organizers Mike Douglass and Kong Chong Ho
  • Workshop on Friendship and the Convivial City, 5-6 September.
  • Laavanya Kathiravelu, Tim Bunnell, Mike Douglass
  • Geographies of Aspiration: Urban Places, Constitutive Connections and Methodological Innovation. Workshop 22-23 July 2013.
  • Univ. Manchester, FASS Cities, ARI AUC. Tim Bunnell, Kevin Ward, Rita Padawangi.
  • Conceptualizing Cyber-Urban Connections in Asia and the Middle East.
  • Jan 2014. Asha Pandi, Peter Marolt, Mike Douglass
citypossible filmfests
CityPossible Filmfests
  • Free public showing of films about people creating spaces of hope in cities in Asia (Substation Arts Centre, Singapore)
  • Linking the university with the broader community through films and open discussions with the audience
  • Overflow audiences of more than 150 people at CP I and CP II.
disaster governance
Disaster Governance

For Singapore to become a hub in Asia for research and training on disaster prevention, adaptation and humanitarian assistance.

Asia’s urban transition is increasing human vulnerability and risks in natural disasters. Rural areas are being linked to urban transformations of nature and associated disasters.

other projects 2012 2014
Other Projects 2012-2014
  • Decentering Nation: The New Geography of Urban and Regional Development in Indonesia
    • Completion December 2013. Tim Bunnell and Michelle Miller
  • Situating Decentralization in Urban Milieux: Challenges and Opportunities of Autonomy for Urban Indonesia
    • Completion March 2014. Michelle Miller
  • Global urban frontiers: Asian cities in theory, practice and imagination
    • Special issue of Urban Studies (Oct 2012)
    • Special section of IDPR (Oct 2012)
    • Symposium section of IJURR (early 2013)
cluster productivity july 2012 2013
Cluster Productivity July 2012-2013



(Anwar, Bunnell, Douglass, Marolt, Miller, Padawangi)

ari nus and community service july 2012 2013
ARI, NUS and Community ServiceJuly 2012-2013

(Anwar, Bunnell, Douglass, Marolt, Miller, Padawangi)

looking forward
Looking Forward

Securing New Research Grants

  • GAI grant & Tier 2 Grants for Disaster Governance
  • External grants with IIAS/UKNA for Vernacular Cities research
  • External grants focus on Indonesia for Spaces of Hope

Conferences and Publications

  • AUC-UKNA “Cities by and for the People” Publications (e.g., Rockefeller Centre Bellagio team visits)
  • Sep 2013 Conference on Grassroots Cultural Economy, KRIHS, Korea
  • Nov 2013 Disaster Governance and Asia’s Urban Transition


  • Post-doc and Research Fellows
  • Visitors
  • Co-organize events with other programs at ARI, FASS, FCL, Yale NUS, SDS
  • China and India via UKNA network