East Asia Modern: Shaping the Contemporary City

pub_fac_rowe_east_asia_modernEast Asia today is a hotbed of urban expansion. Cities such as Singapore, Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai are expanding at a prodigious rate, an ongoing process of modernization that is bringing rapid and widespread change to this part of the globe.

Peter Rowe’s East Asia Modern is a timely comparative study of urban development in the region, examining the process by which new construction has taken place in recent years. The author, well known in the field of East Asian architecture and urbanism, focuses on how the modernizing process might most usefully be understood, especially with regard to city building approaches, methods and projects. He explains what modernization has meant for the general cultural diffusion of largely Western ideas, how East Asian urban regions have developed their own distinct kind of modernity and what lessons can be learned from the contemporary East Asian experience.

This book also provides a historical assessment of the region, showing how cities have developed over the last century and setting into context their individual paths towards modernization. East Asia Modern challenges many of the common conceptions and misconceptions about life in contemporary East Asia and provides a readable critical assessment of the cities of the region, while also pointing to possible ways forward for the future.

Rektion Books, 2005