Urbanization in the Pacific Asian Region

The purpose of this course is to provide an overall account of the urbanization in selected cities within the rapidly developing Pacific Asian region; to characterize relevant political traditions and forms of planning administration affecting urbanization there; and to depict prevalent patterns of urbanization, including illustration at appropriate levels, such as district, block, and building type. The questions being addressed are whether there is a distinctive form to urbanization within the Pacific Asian region, or whether it is largely a matter of satisfying demands for rapid urban expansion within the ambit of internationally available building technology? Are there common problems and opportunities accompanying urbanization within the Pacific Asian region, or is each place sufficiently different so as to defy unitary characterization? And, finally, what special challenges are presented for architecture and urban design in the Pacific Asian region, and are they any different from challenges that might be confronted in other parts of the world? The cities in question are Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore,Taipei, Tokyo, and Seoul, and while each is certainly distinctive, they do all share certain common characteristics. For instance, many of them have – or continue to have – colonial influences; each has grown recently, or is in the process of growing and modernizing rapidly; and, collectively, they seem to define, at least in part, the so-called \”Asian City\” phenomenon. The course will be conducted in a lecture format. Class size will not be limited. The requirements for the course will include a term paper to be developed in stage throughout the semester.